EU parliament approves higher CO2 reductions


With 521 votes to 63 and 34 abstentions, the European Parliament has approved stricter limit values for CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles negotiated in December.

These limits stipulate that CO2 emissions of new passenger cars must be reduced by 37.5 per cent by 2030 compared to 2021. CO2 reductions of 31 per cent are planned for light commercial vehicles. In the interim, a reduction of 15 per cent for both vehicle classes must be achieved by 2025. Formally, the EU member states still have to agree.

++ Kindly see an update of this article below. ++

A reminder: in the run-up to the current decision, the EU countries had demanded a 35 percent reduction in CO2 limits for new cars by 2030, while the EU Parliament initially insisted on a 40 percent reduction. The negotiated value is therefore exactly in the middle. According to media reports, most MEPs are nevertheless satisfied with the compromise.

Until 2021, new cars in the EU fleet must not emit more than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre on average. This is also the basis on which the new reduction targets are based. As of December, the European average for manufacturers was still 118.5 grams – so there is still a lot to be done even for the current limit value.

Member of European Parliament, Miriam Dalli said that this legislation has been achieved “despite fierce opposition from the car industry and certain Member States, which refused to acknowledge the opportunities that stem from a more ambitious target”.

Needless to say, the automotive industry found the targets too ambitious. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association, Acea said that the stipulations will have a “devastating” effect on employment in the industry.

Since 1990, the transport sector has not been able to achieve any reductions in greenhouse gases. In fact, the transport sector is responsible for around 20% of all CO2 emissions in the EU, and of those, more than two-thirds are generated by road transport.

Meanwhile, Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles manager from the environmental protection organisation Transport & Environment warned that car manufacturers could exploit loopholes in the regulation for the crediting of electrified vehicles in order to sell “fake” electric cars. By this, she meant PHEVs that are often large and heavy SUVs only driven electrically to a small extent, if at all.

Update 15.04.2019: The new EU targets for CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles have now been adopted. Following the EU Parliament, the EU member states have now also accepted the new limits.,, (update)

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.


1 Comment

about „EU parliament approves higher CO2 reductions“
Mark Garnett
29.03.2019 um 15:10
Again and again we have seen the trad auto industry only change when forced to do so. These targets sound modest to me (now we know electric cars are viable), so if this forces the industry further than they’d prefer, that’s the right outcome. The rules in California in 1980s produced electric cars but they were withdrawn and crushed when the rules were relaxed so it’s important to push hard. Id like to understand if we are talking about fleet averages, or every vehicle. And is it measured when leaving the factory gate or actual performance in the real world? I repeat EVs are now viable, desirable and easier to make than ICE. Sure there is questions about sourcing sufficient batteries but this is solvable unlike continuing to pollute when we know it is so bad for us all.

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