Traffic: license to greenhouse gas emissions?

Controversy over EU proposal for emission limits

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EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas yesterday announced in Brussels the EU plans for a binding cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. The average CO2 emissions of new cars should then drop to 120 grams per kilometer. This corresponds to a reduction of current emissions by about a quarter. However, the manufacturers only have to reduce it to 130 grams. The remainder is to be achieved with the use of biofuels and other vehicle technology, such as encourages environmentally friendly driving.


European Commission President José Manuel Barroso described the Commission's strategy as "the most ambitious package of measures ever put into developing a low-carbon economy around the world." The move is needed to avert climate change, and EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas added, "only through frugal cars The EU could meet its Kyoto targets and innovate, with improvements in vehicle technology aiming to reduce average emissions to 130 g / km and additional measures to achieve a further 10 g / km reduction Vehicle components that most affect fuel economy (eg tires and air conditioning systems) and a gradual transition to lower carbon fuels.

The EU Commission also called on Member States to tax motor vehicles on the basis of their CO2 emissions. In addition, she called on car manufacturers to sign an EU Code of Conduct on Motor Vehicle Advertising this year, calling on consumers to be sustainable.

Praise from the Federal Environment Minister ...

Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the EU Commission's proposal to limit the CO2 emissions of new vehicles by 2012 to an average of a maximum of 120 grams per kilometer. "This is an ambitious goal for Europe to live up to its global leadership in climate change, " said Gabriel, who is also the current chairman of the EU's Environment Council. display

"As early as the 20th of February, the European environment ministers will deal with the topic. I hope we can already reach conclusions at the Council meeting in June. The massive reduction of CO2 emissions from motor vehicles is one of the most important environmental issues for the German EU Council Presidency. We will strongly support the Commission's proposals. "

... blame of environmental protection organizations

The Federal Government for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND), on the other hand, strictly rejected the concept presented by the European Commission for reducing the greenhouse gases of passenger cars. With the inclusion of non-binding so-called "soft measures" the car industry would open a back door, through which they could slip away from their commitment to climate protection.

The goal envisaged by the European Union of reducing the CO2 emissions of new passenger cars in the fleet average by the engine to 120 grams per kilometer by 2012 has fallen victim to pressure from German car manufacturers. The auto industry seems to want to beat all the warnings of the IPCC climatologists before the warming up of the earth's atmosphere. Every sold car that drives up the emissions average is "an attack on the protection of the global climate".

The German Environmental Aid (DUH) also voiced massive criticism of the EU's weak guidelines: "Chancellor Angela Merkel has a heart for German manufacturers of climate killers, and within just two weeks she has succeeded in both German climate protection policy At the same time, the EU plan on climate protection in road traffic is being damaged in the long term ", said DUH CEO Jürgen Resch. "What is also unique is that an industry that has willfully broken the first part of its climate change pledge to reduce CO2 emissions to 140g by 2008 will no longer have to honor the second part of the commitment as a reward, n reduce CO2 emissions to 120 g CO2 / km by 2012 ".

(EU Commission, BMU, BUND, DUH, 08.02.2007 - NPO)