Car manufacturers are under constant pressure from the EU to reduce their fleet emissions. The EU wants to transform Europe into a low-carbon economy with the ultimate aim of slowing down climate change.
One such example of implementation is an agreement set out five years ago by the EU which planned to cap average CO2 emissions from new cars at 95g/km from 2020, a target that would be difficult to achieve in the time frame.
The Germans do not believe that this target is the best compromise towards tackling climate change and protecting the European car market.
The German minister, Peter Altmaier, said ( BBC
) “It’s not a fight over principles but how we bind the necessary clarity in climate protection with the required flexibility and competitiveness to protect the car industry in Europe”.
Due to this, Germany has successfully delayed the 2020 EU limit, putting forth a proposal that will set back the target until 2024. Whilst this move has been praised by the German car manufacturing industry and has the backing of the UK, a leading German Green Party MEP is not so impressed (BBC): “Weakening the agreed 2020 limits, which have long been known, is a shameful sop to German car manufacturers and will slow the development of new technologies to deliver more efficient and less polluting cars.”
The revisal is said to be open to negotiation for the next few weeks rather than months, with the 28 EU member states noting that the margin for change on the original agreement is minimal.
Bristol Street Motors Vauxhall Carlisle
, which sells many German cars, said “It has to be said that the timing of this agreement delay is very risky. On the one hand, by putting forth a revisal to the agreement Germany is effectively playing to business profit influence, and on the other it is setting back the potential of developing green technologies which are, fundamentally, the future of motoring and long-term manufacturer survival.”
The head of the EU Climate Commission, Connie Hedegaard, noted her frustrating on the revisal, stating that flexibility was limited on a revisal, based on the fact that the agreement was laid out five years ago – in that time, manufacturers have had more than enough time to develop their technologies and implement an infrastructure that will allow for the creation of carbon-friendly vehicles.
With environmental campaigners crying foul on the revisal, saying that Germany is abusing the EU’s democratic process, it remains to be seen whether Germany’s revised agreement will be successful. If it is, you can expect uproar from Green parties.