European Union nations reached an agreement on Tuesday 9 October to cut car emissions by 35 percent by the year 2030, in response to UN experts’ warning about dangers of global warming.
The 35 percent CO2 emission cut is set for new cars compared to models made for 2021. While the target for vans is set at 30 percent.
Some central and eastern EU countries originally declined any increase from the initial 30 percent, they now agree to the 35 percent cut as there comes an extra bonus that low and zero-emission cars sold in lower-GDP countries can get.
Germany-home to giants Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen-is worried that too high targets would hurt its exports and cost the industry jobs. The country, who had insisted on a maximum cut of 30 percent proposed by EU regulators, made a concession when it won a concession: it has been given an interim review of tougher rules.
France, home to Peugeot and Renault, said it had wanted a 40 percent cut, seemed to have accepted the compromise 35 percent.
Eastern European member states threw their support behind Germany, while Netherlands, Nordic states and Luxembourg had proposed ambitious cuts as high as 40 percent.
Auto industry insiders had recommended a 20 percent by 2030, voicing concerns over job loss, profit reduction and lesser investment for innovation.
“We saw a really complicated discussion”, Europe’s Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said of the compromise that gained the support of 20 nations, with 4 voting against and 4 abstaining. “I never believed in the beginning that such a strong support would be obtained.”
UN climate experts had urged policy makers to adopt “rapid” and “unprecedented” reforms in the face of more frequent and wider extreme climate across the globe and make good on commitments they made at the 2016 Paris climate talks.
The European Parliament and European Commission are EU’s two lawmaking bodies, the former seeks a more ambitious goal of 40 percent, while the later a lower one of 30 percent, the final target comes at the medium level.
Europe is demonstrating stronger determination to make transport industry more clean confronting warnings about environment impact of global warming, and risk of losing out to players like China-the world’s largest auto market- in technological innovation and transition to low-emission and new energy vehicles.
There are about 15 million autos sold in the EU every year, with CO2 emission -the main greenhouse gas that is to be blamed for global warming-from cars claiming more than a tenth of the bloc’s total.
Source: EV Volumes
Sales of electric vehicle in Europe during the first half of this year increases by more than 40 percent compared with the same period of 2017, adding EV running on the roads to about 1 million, a landmark figure China realized one year earlier. Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles is on the increase, however, it still accounts only 2 percent of new sales in first six months, the figure is expected to rise to about 2.35 percent by the end of this year, according to Viktor Irle, analyst at EV-Volumes. At present, market share of EV in Europe stands at around 1.5 percent.