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Christopher Bruce2013-03-21 16:53:52

EU Commission May Allow Automakers to Trade CO2 Credits

Critics say it goes too far to weaken emissions rules

Volkswagen has been investing heavily to make its cars cleaner

The European Commission is considering augmenting CO2 emissions laws to allow automakers to trade CO2 credits to lower their average emissions. The rules currently mandate average CO2 emissions of 130g/km of CO2 by 2015, and it is seeking to mandate 95g/km of CO2 emissions by 2020. 

The German automakers have requested that they be able to buy unlimited CO2 credits, but this has been met with debate by other automakers and environmental advocates. 

The industry committee of the European Parliament has voted on a compromise to allow automakers to purchase credits valued at up to 2.5g/km of CO2 per year. It sees this as a compromise because automakers would not be able to completely offset their emissions by buying credits.

However, the vote is non-binding and was done to see how it would fair with the entire parliament. A final vote is expected in June.

"The compromise on supercredits strikes a balance, giving industry more flexibility and incentives to invest in low carbon cars while not watering down the agreed 2020 target. A 2.5 gram cap per manufacturer per year equates to low emission vehicles being eligible for supercredits up to the point where they account for around 6 percent of total EU car sales each year," said committee member Fiona Hill to Reuters

Critics say that even the compromise goes too far. They believe that it will stifle innovation towards cleaner cars because automakers will be able to spend money to make their cars 2.5g/km cleaner.

The European Commission has done studies that show that reducing average emissions to 95g/km of CO2 would save 160 million tons of oil by 2030 and would translate into €33 billion ($42.76 billion) in savings. It also predicts the initiative will create more high tech jobs as automakers higher engineers and do research to reach these goals. They are also on par with upcoming standards in the US that would force the equivalent of 93g/km of CO2. 

Source: Automotive News Europe




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