Miriam Dalli says relaxing of car emissions limits is ‘unacceptable’

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli says car manufacturers who use best technology to reduce emissions should be rewarded

Emissions tests for cars on the road should be be relaxed, Miriam Dalli says
Emissions tests for cars on the road should be be relaxed, Miriam Dalli says

Stricter emissions tests for cars on the road are needed to ensure that standards imposed on manufacturers are not ignored, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said.

She told a meeting of the European Parliament’s environment committee that secondary legislation allowing cars to pollute more than they should is “unacceptable”.

“To try and legitimise the relaxing of limits is deplorable,” Dalli said.

She is leading the negotiations on behalf of the Socialists and Democrats Group on regulations that set the emission limits for cars for regulated pollutants, in particular nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Car manufacturers were granted the so-called ‘conformity factors’ allowing them to pollute more on the road than the levels measured under laboratory conditions. However, the General Court of the EU labelled such conformity factors as illegal.

“This is our chance as European Parliament to do something about Europe’s polluted air. The technology is available and the legislation should reward those car manufacturers making the best use of available technology,” she said. 

Calls for stricter control grew stronger following the Dieselgate scandal, where German car manufacturer, Volkswagen, was found to have cheated in order to declare lower emissions from its vehicles.

Additionally, NOx levels set for diesel-powered cars are higher when compared to the levels set for petrol engine cars.

“NOx limits for diesel cars are still higher than for petrol cars and the last thing our environment needs is a rewrite of the original NOx limits,” Dalli said, as she called for incentives to manufacturers who follow set standards.