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Climate Change: Car Emissions

Volume 691: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking through the European Union Council of Ministers to persuade the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, and its United Kingdom section, to accept the European Council's target of 120 grams per kilometre for carbon dioxide emissions by 2012. [HL3290]

The European Commission currently has voluntary agreements in place with the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) and the two industry associations for Japanese and Korean manufacturers (together covering most cars sold in the EU), to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new cars to 140g/km by 2008-09.

This target is unlikely to be met. In a recent communication, the Commission announced its intention to require industry to meet an efficiency target for 2012 through legislation. This would entail a target of 130g/km through improvements to the main structure of the car itself, and several other measures (for example, tyres with lower rolling resistance, and use of biofuels) contributing further savings, to make the target an equivalent of 120g/km.

We welcome the Commission's intention to introduce mandatory proposals. The Commission's proposal is still in its early stages: further detail on the mechanism of the target and how it would be implemented is yet to be decided. While we believe that the target is at around the right level, clearly this is a matter that will need careful thought and will involve much discussion with stakeholders. We have already started engaging with the key industry body in the UK, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and will continue to do so.