EU car lobby calls for relaxation on CO2 laws during pandemic

Last week (March 25) ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, wrote to the president of the European Commission asking for a relaxation of cars CO2 targets. 

In the letter, the lobby association points to the significant challenges posed by the pandemic and have therefore called for a postponement of CO2 laws.

The letter states: ‘We believe therefore some adjustment would need to be made to the timing of these laws.’

Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said that relaxing these laws is potentially damaging for the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the car industry in Europe.

The CO2 target was set in 2008 with the aim for 95% of all new passenger car sales to release less than 95g of CO2 per km by January 2020. The target then applies to 100% of car sales by 2021.

T&E has said that falls in car sales do not affect compliance and that the law is not just an EV target, it is also relevant to small and fuel-efficient cheaper cars.

In contrast to ACEA’s letter, the three German carmakers, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW have come out publicly in support of the CO2 targets.

Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicle director at T&E said: ‘The priority now is to ensure the health, safety and job security of the workers affected by the current factory closures.

‘While the overall economic recovery is crucial, we shouldn’t let some opportunistic carmakers use the crisis to shamelessly roll back the EU climate targets for cars.

‘All three German carmakers, VW, Daimler and BMW, have rightly acknowledged this is not needed.

‘It is too early to judge the impacts of the Coronavirus on the car industry but selling fewer cars won’t impact compliance with the law. What matters is the type of car you sell.

‘Any incentives to boost demand once normal life resumes should be targeted at zero-emissions cars. This will help keep jobs in Europe, curb pollution and boost the competitiveness of our car industry.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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