Car CO2 emissions: Environment Committee backs agreement with Council

An agreement with the Council of Ministers on new rules designed to achieve the CO2 emission reduction target of 95g/km for new cars by 2020 was endorsed by the Environment Committee on Tuesday. The text retains this target, albeit with a limited “phase-in” in 2020, and allows “super credits” for the least-polluting cars in each manufacturer’s range to be counted from 2020 to 2022.The file had to be reopened after EU ministers failed to endorse a previous informal deal on it with Parliament.

In negotiations with the Council, Parliament’s negotiators limited the proposed “phase-in” of the 95g/km mandatory target to 95% of new cars and to a single year: 2020.

“I am satisfied with what was voted today” said rapporteur Thomas Ulmer (EPP, DE). “We fought for a good agreement, combining flexibility for manufacturers, protection for the environment, and the best interests of consumers. This is a good deal for the three parties involved”, he said. The text was approved by 35 votes in favour, 9 against and 1 abstention.


Super-credits (favourable weightings for cleaner cars within a manufacturer’s range) would be allowed from 2020 to 2022 (there will be no super-credits in 2016-2020), but capped at 7.5g/km over that period. The following multipliers will apply: a car emitting less than 50g/km will count as 2 passenger cars in 2020, 1.67 passenger cars in 2021, 1.33 passenger cars in 2022, and 1 passenger car in 2023.

Towards a more realistic emissions test procedure

The new UN-defined World Light Duty Test Procedure (WLTP) should come into force at the earliest opportunity, says the text, which notes that the European Commission has indicated its support for a 2017 deadline. The WLTP better reflects the real conditions in which cars are used.

MEPs note that recent studies show that manufacturers have exploited weaknesses in the current procedure for testing the environmental performance of cars, with the result that official consumption and emission figures are far from those achieved in everyday driving conditions.


The pending update to EU car emissions legislation sets a 95g/km for passenger cars by 2020. It must be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to enter into force. Although an agreement was reached between the institutions on the new rules in June, national governments’ permanent representatives in the “COREPER” committee had postponed a decision to endorse the deal.

Next steps

The text is to be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole at the 24-27 February plenary session in Strasbourg.

(Source: European Parliament)


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