Dalli seeks majority for ambitious 45% cut in car CO2 emissions by 2030

A close vote is expected during tomorrow’s European Parliament environment committee meeting that would approve more stringent emissions targets than originally proposed by the European Commission

A vote on the introduction of stricter emissions standards across the EU, as proposed by Labour MEP Miriam Dalli, will be held on Monday
A vote on the introduction of stricter emissions standards across the EU, as proposed by Labour MEP Miriam Dalli, will be held on Monday

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli will be seeking support from European Union lawmakers for plans to introduce stricter emissions standards across the EU, during a meeting of the European Parliament’s environment committee tomorrow.

The legislation will set emissions targets from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 2030, with Dalli proposing emissions cuts far greater than those proposed by the European Commission.

The vote is expected to take two hours, as MEPs go through an 82-page long voting list, following fresh compromise amendments tabled by the Maltese MEP.

The controversial vote, followed attentively by car manufacturers and industry lobbyists across the EU, is expected to be close.

MaltaToday is informed that the latest compromise amendments to the political groups were submitted amidst heavy lobbying to water down the Commission’s proposals.

The EU has sought to position itself as a global leader in the fight against climate change, with Dalli stressing that it already has the technology to drive the industry forward.

“We just need the ambition and the right policy to get things moving forward,” she said, adding that she had “settled” for a 45% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 to secure a “progressive majority” behind her position.

Dalli’s proposal is significantly higher than the Commission’s original proposal of 15%, which was driven by the fact that emissions from transport is the only class of emissions that is still rising. This stands at 27% of the EU’s total CO2 emission, with cars and vans representing roughly two thirds of this between them.

The Commission’s original proposal looked at a 15% reduction target by the new light commercial vehicles fleet by 2025, reaching 30% by 2030. But both the European People’s Party (EPP) and the ECR are seeking to lower these targets to 15% in 2025 and 20% by 2030.

By proposing a target of 20% and 45% respectively, Dalli appears to have secured the majority support including the liberals (ALDE), the Greens, the GUE and EFDD.

“The risk that we are facing is that posed by the most conservative forces in the European Parliament including the EPP, who are not interested in pushing for stricter CO2 emission reductions from transport,” Dalli added.

In her report, Dalli proposes the introduction of testing of real-world CO2 emissions, rules on the reporting of data from fuel consumption meters and a revision of the car-labeling directive to provide consumers with accurate and comparable information on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and air pollutant emissions of cars and vans.

“My ultimate aim is to reduce emissions through zero and low-emission vehicles be it hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell technology, battery electric vehicles and efficient internal combustion engines. It will be up to the manufacturers to decide what technology mix to go for,” Dalli added.

As infrastructure remains a pressing issue, the draft report calls for support instruments at both Union and Member State level to mobilise and incentivise public and private investment.

“Increased recharging and refueling infrastructure would provide the confidence to consumers, and the business certainty, for vehicle manufacturers,” Dalli said.

Car manufacturers are not the only industry players with a vested interest in the legislation, however, as workers’ representatives have also voiced concerns about its potential impact on jobs.

An impact assessment provided by the Commission showed that stricter CO2 target levels would lead to an increase in economic output, along with an increase in the number of jobs across the EU28.

The Commission did, though, stop short of analysing a 50% emission reduction scenario, limiting itself to 40%.

The draft report thus looks at a social transition, taking into consideration citizens and regions that could be adversely impacted.

In this regard, Dalli calls for targeted programmes at EU, national and regional levels for the re-skilling, up-skilling and redeployment of workers, as well as education and job-seeking initiatives.

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