In an interview with European Voice, Stavros Dimas, the European Commissioner for the Environment, said that the Commission will recommend legislation establishing binding targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions from cars.
Up to now, efforts to cut CO2 emissions have been voluntary, with the industry targeting an interim level of 140 g/km by 2008 on the way to the EU target of 120 g/km by 2012. However, three-quarters of the 20 major car brands sold in Europe last year have failed to improve fuel efficiency at the rate needed to meet that 2008 target, according to a recent study. (Earlier post.)
But in a review of EU measures to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, expected on 12 December, the Commission is to recommend legislation. Dimas refused to confirm the publication date but said “we will be bringing out legislation to cut CO2 emissions from cars soon.”
“The latest Commission figures show an average of 161g for new cars in 2004,” the Greek commissioner said. “It looks like there is no way manufacturers will meet the 140g target in time.”
A draft of the proposal has just been sent to other Commission departments. The commissioner said that although details were still under discussion, the legislation would be closely based on the voluntary agreement—i.e., one target for the whole industry, rather than individual targets.
Dimas said that biofuels would not be part of the new proposal. The CO2 law would require approval of member states and MEPs under the EU’s co-decision procedure.