Tuesday, July 03, 2007

EU Hearing On CO2 Emission Controls On New Cars & Vans

Jul 3: The European Commission has scheduled a public hearing on July 11, 2007 on the implementation of its new strategy to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars and vans sold in the European Union (EU). The new strategy, proposed in February 2007 [See WIMS 2/7/07], aims to reach the EU objective of 120 g/km average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars by 2012 by means of an integrated approach. The public hearing seeks to gather views and ideas from all interested stakeholders on the possible options available for designing the various legislative components of the integrated approach.

In a release the Commission said that road transport generates about one fifth of the EU's CO2 emissions, with passenger cars responsible for around 12%. Although recent years have seen a significant improvement in vehicle technology -- particularly in fuel efficiency, which translates into lower CO2 emissions -- this has not been enough to neutralize the effect of increases in traffic and car size. While the EU-25 reduced overall emissions of greenhouse gases by almost 5% between 1990 and 2004, CO2 emissions from road transport rose by 26% despite an average new-car CO2 emissions reduction of 12.4% between 1995 and 2004.

The European Commission said it is committed to addressing these rising emissions. In this context, on February 7, 2007, it published two communications on the future strategy to reduce CO2 emission from cars and on the future regulatory framework in the car sector. As outlined in the communications, the Commission has decided to pursue an integrated approach with a view to reaching the EU objective of 120 g/km average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars by 2012. The public hearing is designed to bring together the key stakeholders to gather views on the implementation of the Commission’s proposed strategy and to receive input and ideas on the possible options available for designing the future legislative framework, including the economic, social and environmental aspects of these options. An internet based public consultation will continue until July 15, 2007.

A June 29, EurActiv article indicates that while the EU's 27 environment ministers agree on the need to reduce car emissions in order to tackle climate change, they remain divided on how the burden of these reductions should be spread out among the industry (See link below).

Access a release from the Commission with links to all pertinent documents (click here). Access the EurActiv article with links to additional information (click here). [*Climate]