Car CO2 emissions limits agreed

Car manufacturers will need to cut CO2 emissions by 37.5% in 2030, compared to levels in 2021, after the EU announced a staged process to reduce carbon emissions.

Van manufacturers have a target of a 31% reduction in the same time frame, and there is a 15% cut compared to 2021 CO2 emissions for both vehicle types by 2025.

The news is the result of a compromise between the European Commission - which had pitched for a 35% cut in CO2 emissions in its latest move - and the European Parliament's proposal of a 40% reduction.

As part of the agreement, the European Commission will develop a system of using fuel consumption meters, in a bid to make sure that the emissions reductions are actually delivered on the road - a move that looks to minimise the potential for another VW Emission Scandal-type event.

As is to be expected, the news that significant cuts are coming have been welcomed on the whole, though environmental campaigners say that more could have been done with tougher targets, and manufacturers are saying that the time scale is too short for these sorts of figures. The former points to a proposal to penalise manufacturers for failing to build enough zero- and ultra-low emission models was not included in the agreement.

Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at campaign group Transport & Environment, said: "Europe is shifting up a gear in the race to produce zero-emission cars. The new law means by 2030 around a third of new cars will be electric or hydrogen-powered. That's progress but it's not fast enough to hit our climate goals.

"This regulation is a good deal for citizens: reducing fuel costs for drivers, creating over 200,000 jobs and reducing our dependence on imported oil. However, carmakers' successful scuppering of more ambitious targets means governments will now need to do a lot more at national level to bring down transport emissions."

Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European manufacturers' association ACEA, commented: "ACEA's members are of course committed to further reducing CO2 emissions from their vehicles, but these targets will be extremely demanding on Europe's auto industry.

"Indeed, they will require a much stronger market uptake of electric and other alternatively-powered vehicles than is currently proving possible."

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Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:19th Dec 2018

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