European Parliament, Council reach deal on strong vehicle emissions targets

Cars and van manufacturers will be required to reduce emissions by 37.5% by 2030 in a legislative framework being piloted by Labour MEP Miriam Dalli

An agreement was reached following a fifth round of talks and over 25 hours of tough negotiations
An agreement was reached following a fifth round of talks and over 25 hours of tough negotiations

Talks between the European Parliament and the European Council have seen an agreement being reached on new Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions for cars and vans across Europe.

Following a fifth round of talks, and more than 25 hours of tough negotiations, a provisional agreement on reductions to CO2 emissions from cars and vans was reached. Under the agreed-upon terms, emissions must be reduced by 15% by 2025, increasing to 37.5% by 2030.

The agreement sets standards which are considerably higher than the 30% initially suggested by the European Commission, but lower than the 40% agreed to by parliament earlier this year.

In addition to agreeing to CO2 emissions targets, Parliament was also successful in closing a number of loopholes which it is believed would have weakened the legislation.

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli’s office said in a statement that for the “first time ever”, the legislation would introduce an obligation for the Commission to monitor and report fuel consumption meter data so as to prevent the gap between real world emissions and and lab tests from growing.

The draft legislation, Dalli’s office said, fully embraces the concerns of trade unions, and directs the European Commission to assess the possibility of creating a fund to address the transition required to achieve a climate neutral economy as well as to support workers in the car manufacturing sector.

“As Parliament, we strongly fought to safeguard the environment integrity of the proposal and bring real health, consumer and innovation benefits to European citizens,” Dalli, who is the proposal’s rapporteur, said.

“We achieved this deal despite the fierce opposition from the car industry and certain Member States who refused to acknowledge the opportunities that stem from a more ambitious targets.”

The Labour MEP reiterated that the competitiveness of the automotive industry is related to its capacity to innovate.

“Now that a provisional agreement has been reached, I look forward to seeing Member States legislating in favour of cleaner and greener proposals which would ultimately benefit our health and our environment, translating into both consumer and industry benefits.”

Reacting to the agreement, the European Automotive Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) described the targets as “totally unrealistic”, adding that the industry “deplored” the targets “driven purely by political motives”.

“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,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “Indeed, they will require a much stronger market uptake of electric and other alternatively-powered vehicles than is currently proving possible.”

In addition to setting targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions, the agreement also agreed on incentives schemes for electric cars in countries where such vehicles remain unpopular.

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