Europe sets fuel-efficiency target

Proposed target was diluted to please automobile lobby

By Vivek Chattopadhyay
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

imageEUROPE has set fuel-efficiency targets for vans to curb greenhouse gases emissions. Environment ministers who met at Brussels in December endorsed a deal to achieve emission of 175 grammes of CO2 per kilometre by 2017 and 147 g/km by 2020 from vans. The 2017 target represents a 14 per cent reduction on the 2007 level of 203 g/km. The 2020 target is about 33 per cent lower compared to the 2007 level.

The proposal follows the regulation on CO


emission standards for passenger cars and according to the European Co-mmission “is one of the last outstanding measures announced in the EU Strategy to reduce CO


emissions from light-duty vehicles”.


The Commission had proposed a tougher target for 2020—135 g/km— but that proved more contentious as automakers lobbied for diluted standards. Ministers agreed to soften that goal to 147 g. Manufacturers who exceed the limits will pay a fine of € 95 (US $123) per g/km According to reports, Berlin initially resisted the measures, forcing a slightly weakening of the strategy to make it easier for its big automakers Mercedes and Volkswagen.

T&E (Transport & Environment), a leading non-profit, said the automobile industry, backed by the governments of Germany, Italy and France, has succeeded in severely weakening an EU law setting CO2 standards for new vans.

T&E in a statement said that the industry claimed it couldn’t make a 14 per cent improvement in van efficiency over nine years, but improved car efficiency more than three times that rate last year. Policymakers must do a better job of holding the industry accountable when it makes such claims, the non-profit said.

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