Open letter to EU governments on the importance of technology open CO2 standards for climate protection and mobility

Ahead of the Council discussion on CO2 emission reduction from cars and vans, the signatories of this letter urge you to agree on a legislation that allows the green transformation in our sector to be an industrial and social success across Europe.

We support the Paris Agreement and the EU’s further ambition of achieving climate neutrality in 2050 including in mobility. Against this background, we take note of the European Parliament vote on 8 June 2022. We fear that its result does not balance the needs of climate protection with the industrial, social, and geo-political realities we are facing.

While electrification is the key focus of our membership in terms of technology and innovation, we believe that an all-electric mandate for all new vehicles by 2035:

  • Presents massive challenges to the industrial fabric of our sector and the viability of key European value-chains.
  • Will have severe impacts on employment, as demonstrated by a recent CLEPA study.
  • Does not sufficiently consider the diversity of Europe in terms of geography and population distribution, expected ramp-up of charging infrastructure, economic development and purchasing power of citizens.
  • Risks being limited by raw material shortages, rising costs and may create dependencies which are geo-strategically problematic.
  • Does not impact on emissions from the existing fleet of 250 million vehicles. Low and zero carbon fuels are needed to reach climate goals in road transport.

We are therefore calling for a technology-open approach:

  • Notably, the signatories believe that moving towards a well-to-wheel or life-cycle approach that considers the positive contribution sustainable renewable fuels can make to climate protection would be vastly superior, for industry, society, and the climate, compared to a tailpipe logic. It would also support the necessary ramp-up of low- and zero carbon fuels to decarbonise the existing fleet. We kindly ask you to support such proposals in the Council.
  • As a minimum, we urge you to support other proposals made in the Council to keep the window of opportunity open for low-emission technologies, notably by accompanying the 2035 target with a provision for the best performing low-emission technologies at least until 2039 and to consider the intrinsic differences of cars and vans in a differentiated target for these vehicle types.

Rarely have we seen a political decision where the stakes for climate protection but also for our sector have been this high. We thank you for your kind consideration of the above comments and are available for of any questions you may have.


Thorsten Muschal

President, CLEPA


Jean-Charles Herrenschmidt

President, CECRA


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