The Norway factor in CO2 emissions


Despite Norway not being a part of the European Union, they will be included in the overall CO2 emissions figures with their European neighbours. And not only that, electric vehicles sold in Norway count twice when it comes to fleet emissions.

Despite Norway not being a part of the European Union, they will now be included in the overall CO2 emissions figures with their European neighbours. An EU spokesperson confirmed to German news magazine Spiegel, that the overall uptake of electric vehicles may be collectively tallied in Europe with the inclusion of Norwegian figures.

And since Norway is far ahead in terms of electromobility, this takes pressure off European carmakers who may face huge fines if they don’t reduce CO2 vehicle emissions of their fleets, especially as the numbers from Norway count double for the start.

Late last year, the EU decided on emissions targets for cars in Europe. CO2 emissions from new cars will have to decrease by 37.5% by 2030. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions in cars and vans by 15% by 2025. The new targets will come into play in 2020/21, whereby new cars may only emit 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre on average.

It is doubtful whether many European carmakers will be able to reach these targets. In 2017 in the European Union (without Norway) CO2 emissions actually rose to 119 g/km – 1 g/km higher than in 2016. With Norway counting however, the figures will look slightly better.

So much so that Julia Poliscanova from the environmental organisation Transport & Environment (T&E) pointed out that with Norway included in EU statistics, it will be easier for manufacturers to meet their CO2 targets, and that “We think this is problematic because it weakens the limit values.”

For car manufacturers in Europe, even small quantities of CO2 saved can make a big difference: A fine of 95 euros per car is due for every gram by which a manufacturer exceeds their individually determined fleet limit. This means that, for example, if Volkswagen only manages 99 grams instead of the 98 grams specified, it will cost the Group a fine of around 380 million euros.

Germany produces more than three times as many cars as any other country in Europe, but the German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Andreas Scheuer, has yet to consider phase-out dates for combustion engines as other countries like Sweden, UK, France, Denmark, Scotland and Spain. Despite transport experts suggesting incentives for reducing CO2 emissions in Germany, German Transport minister Scheuer has responded with sentiments like, “That’s too retro for me.”

Now, the Nordic non-EU country that leads electromobility on land and in the water is potentially benefiting the autoland – not only with their cleaner air but now also possibly saving German companies billions of euros. Let us hope that a few of those euros saved get put into effective measures for the reduction of CO2 in transport. (in German)

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.


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