Luxury Car Makers Win EU Emissions Cap Battle


by | Oct 15, 2013

MercedesEuropean Union environment ministers — bowing to pressure from Germany — have agreed to change  a draft law to cap emissions from cars.

The decision comes after the EU reached a compromise deal in June 2013 that ensures all new cars manufactured in 2020 and beyond will emit no more than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. Each manufacturer will have an individual target for reducing CO2 emissions, under the rules outlined in the agreement.

But Germany has lobbied heavily to delay the emissions rules in an effort to protect its luxury car makers, such as BMW and Daimler, which would see their costs increase and profit margin margins shrink under the stricter new rules. Germany has argued the EU car emissions law would cost jobs and damage its luxury car makers, which would struggle to meet the proposed cap, Reuters reports.

Germany has proposed the law should apply to all new cars only in 2024, Bloomberg reports. The UK and Poland support Germany’s call for a revision of the draft.

EU environment ministers agreed during a meeting in Luxembourg to authorize Lithuania to start talks with the European Parliament to change the preliminary deal, Bloomberg reports.

European automakers reduced average new car emissions by 2.5 percent to 132.4 grams per kilometer in 2012, putting the industry on track to meet binding emissions goals for 2015, according to a report released in September by the European Federation for Transport and Environment.

The report, How Clean Are Europe’s Cars?, says both premium and mainstream car makers are poised to achieve 2020 targets of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer without requiring so-called supercredits, which are for very low-emission cars. Supercredits allow manufacturers to count each low-emissions vehicle as more than one car, watering down the overall CO2 reductions based on fleet averages.

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