Wednesday, February 07, 2007

European Strategy On CO2 From New Vehicles & Car Industry

Feb 7: The European Commission proposed a comprehensive new strategy to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars and vans sold in the European Union (EU). The new strategy, together with a revision of EU fuel quality standards proposed last week, further underline the Commission's determination to ensure the EU meets its greenhouse gas emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol and beyond. The strategy will enable the EU to reach its long-established objective of limiting average CO2 emissions to 120 grams per km by 2012 - a reduction of around 25% from current levels. By improving fuel efficiency, the revised strategy will deliver substantial fuel savings for drivers. To encourage the car industry to compete on the basis of fuel efficiency instead of size and power, the Commission is also inviting manufacturers to sign an EU code of good practice on car marketing and advertising.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said, "This strategy is the most ambitious approach ever and the most ambitious approach worldwide towards the development of a low-carbon economy -- which is vital for averting climate change. It is the concrete proof of EU leadership in the field. This will require efforts from all sectors, but also open up enormous opportunities for the EU car industries. I call on the EU's car industries to preserve their long term competitiveness by taking the innovative lead, in the interest of consumers and workers alike."

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas commented saying, "Cleaner, more efficient and affordable cars will help reduce carbon dioxide in the EU, enable us to achieve our Kyoto targets, save energy and encourage innovation. All Member States will need to pull their weight in implementing the measures necessary and have a major responsibility to encourage the purchase of fuel-efficient cars as well as discourage fuel-inefficiency."

The Commission also agreed upon a comprehensive strategy for the European car industry, to keep the manufacturing of motorcars viable on a long term basis, at prices affordable to consumers. The strategy encompasses a variety of areas, such as reduction of administrative burdens, environmental sustainability, road safety, trade and overseas markets and research. The automotive industry is a major pillar of the European economy, representing 3% of the European GDP and 7% of employment in the manufacturing sector. The Commission said, “Today we have put forward our strategy to create favorable conditions for an innovative and thriving European car industry and to keep jobs in Europe. We have hit the right balance between the need for global competitiveness and progress in safety and environmental performance. We put the emphasis also on research and development to carry the industry well into the 21st century."

Access a European Commission release on the CO2 reduction strategy with links to details (
click here). Access a Q&A document on the CO2 strategy (click here). Access a release on the Commission's car industry strategy (click here). [*Climate]