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EU agrees 2030 new car and van CO2 targets

Mon 17 December 2018 | Back to news list

EU negotiators have agreed new targets for CO2 emissions from new cars and vans. Under the plans, by 2030, emissions from new cars will have to decrease by 37.5% and for vans by 31%. An interim target of a 15% cut for cars and vans by 2025 is also proposed.

However, the deal has already been branded as both “insufficient” by green campaigners and “unrealistic” by the car industry.

The European Commission had originally proposed a 30% reduction rate for both vehicle types, while Parliament preferred 40% cuts. 

Erik Jonnaert, Secretary-General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said the targets “will be extremely demanding on Europe’s auto industry”, with a “seismic impact” on jobs.

Volkswagen, the world’s largest maker of cars, said its plans to spend €30bn to roll-out electric vehicles in the next five years will be insufficient to meet the targets. The German parent of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and other brands (reported by the Financial Times) said it would have to accelerate its shift into electric vehicles and may even need to end certain combustion models to meet the targets agreed in Brussels.

Volkswagen says it currently plans to sell up to 3m electric vehicles a year by 2025, or up to 25 per cent of its global sales. Under the new rules, electric vehicles will need to be 40 per cent of all European sales by 2030 VW says.

Brussels-based NGO, Transport and Environment, said the reduction in emissions would not be enough to limit climate change.

Greg Archer, T&E’s clean vehicles director, said: “Europe is shifting up a gear in the race to produce zero-emission cars. The new law means by 2030 around a third of new cars will be electric- or hydrogen-powered. That’s progress but it’s not fast enough to hit our climate goals.”

European policymakers (quoted in The Guardian) described the deal as a compromise between environmental concerns and representatives of countries with large car industries (such as Germany) that had pushed for much smaller cuts.

Maroš Šefčovič, the European commission’s vice-president for energy union, described the move as “another credible step in the implementation of the Paris agreement but also another decisive step in support of the long-term competitiveness of European industry”.

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