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EU agrees on 37.5% CO2 emission reduction target from cars by 2030

19 December 2018

Negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council have agreed on post-2021 CO2 emission reduction targets from new cars and vans. By 2030, CO2 emissions from new cars are to decrease by 37.5%, and by 31% from vans, compared to 2021 levels. An intermediate target, to be reached by 2025, calls for a 15% CO2 emission reduction from both cars and vans.

The agreed targets are higher than the values in the Commission proposal (30%) and the EU Council position (35%), but lower than the 40% target agreed by the European Parliament in October.

Under the agreement, the benchmark system for zero- and low-emission (electric or plug-in hybrid) vehicles (ZLEV) has been rejected. The benchmark (“malus”) system, proposed by the Parliament, would penalize manufacturers that would not reach the ZLEV quota. Instead, the regulation will use the “super-credit” approach for ZLEV vehicles, proposed by the Commission. A cap was added to the double counting of ZLEV cars sold in Central and Eastern Europe at 5% of new car sales in those countries.

The agreed targets will require a significant penetration of ZLEV vehicles in the EU new vehicle fleet by 2030, possibly on the order of 30-40%. This carries a considerable business risk for the EU automotive industry.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) expressed serious concerns about the “highly challenging” 2030 CO2 targets. “Delivering a 37.5% CO2 reduction from cars and 31% from vans might sound plausible, but is totally unrealistic based on where we stand today,” ACEA said in a statement. “Industry deplores that these 2030 targets are driven purely by political motives, without taking technological and socio-economic realities into account.”

According to several “green” groups, the deal still lacked ambition. The Germany-based T&E Group said that “the deal is well below what’s needed to achieve the EU’s 2030 climate targets or indeed meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, which requires the last car with an engine to be sold by the early 2030s”.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) expects the CO2 standards will lower the cost of driving, with projected fuel savings for drivers of “up to €1,000 over the next decade”.

Source: Euractiv