MEPs support tough action on car emissions

25 September 2008

Brussels, 25 September 2008 - MEPs in the European Parliament today voted to make carmakers play a much greater role in tackling climate change and rejected car industry attempts to weaken proposed legislation on the fuel efficiency of new cars.

With an overwhelming majority, the Parliament's Environment Committee endorsed the European Commission's proposal to cut average emissions from new cars to no more than 130 grammes of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g
CO2/km) by 2012. Proposals to postpone the deadline to 2015 and to lower proposed penalties to be paid by car manufacturers were rejected. The Committee also said that average emissions in 2020 should be no more than 95g C02/km, subject to a review in 2014.

Friends of the Earth transport campaigner Tony Bosworth said: "Environment Committee MEPs have today told carmakers to speed up action to tackle climate change. The Committee has listened to the views of European citizens who overwhelmingly want tough action to make new cars more fuel-efficient and cut emissions. The low penalties and long deadlines the car industry wanted have been binned. Instead a new and overdue target of 95g Co2/km by 2020 has been agreed. The car industry must now focus its efforts on driving down emissions rather than self-interested lobbying."

In the next few months, Parliament and Council will try to negotiate a final agreement. Earlier this year the French and German Governments reached a deal which would grant the industry far reaching concessions on deadlines and penalties.

Tony Bosworth added: "The ball is now in the Council's court. Europe's leaders must make sure their big promises to fight climate change are backed up by robust action."