Environment committee underestimates progress in decarbonisation of transport

Date

11 Sep 2018

Sections

Transport
The environment committee of the European Parliament calls for stricter CO2 targets for passenger cars and vans than proposed by the European Commission and a threshold in addition to incentives for sales of low and zero emission vehicles. These are key outcomes of a vote in the committee last night.
 
 
“Automotive suppliers fully support the objective of reducing emissions and are proud to deliver the technology to achieve it. However, the sector calls for realistically ambitious targets to best support the transformation that is unmistakably underway”, says Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive supplier’s industry.
 
Yesterday’s vote stands in contrast to earlier votes in the committees for transport and industry, where majorities of members confirmed targets as proposed by the European Commission. “The position of the environment committee therefore does not reflect the entire spectrum of opinions in the European Parliament. We hope that the members of the Parliament will come to a more balanced position in the plenary session in October”, says De Vries.
 
“A key requirement is to reduce emissions in the most efficient, technology-open as well as least disruptive way when it comes to jobs and structural change”, she adds. “Electrification is a major part of the solution. Industry assesses that the 30% reduction target proposed by the Commission will trigger a share of electric and electrified vehicles including mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell and battery-electric solutions of at least 60%, and very possibly much higher than that as technologies will increasingly be combined to meet emission targets as well as serve a broad variety of transport needs in a tailored way. Today, this percentage remains in the low single digit range. Major investments are therefore being made and will continue at a fast pace.”
 
The environment committee voted in favour of compromise amendments proposed by the rapporteur, which call for a reduction of emissions by 20% and 45% respectively by 2025 and 2030 as opposed to 15% and 30% proposed by the Commission. The committee also calls for a “malus”, a penalty for manufacturers which fail to achieve a benchmark of electric vehicles as a proportion of their overall sales. “This is counter the principle of technology neutrality”, says De Vries.
 
Furthermore, the committee calls on the Commission to develop a methodology for the life-cycle analysis of embedded emissions in fuel and energy production as well as the construction of the vehicle and parts. “Making the step further towards well-to-wheel or life-cycle analysis is important to level the playing field between combustion engines and electric vehicles. Automotive suppliers have long been arguing in favour of a well-to-wheel approach”, says De Vries.
 
The next step is the vote in the Plenary, likely at the beginning of October. Members of the European Parliament will now have the opportunity to propose amendments to complement the position of the environment committee. Member States’ governments are expected to finalise their position in October as well. Once both institutions have adopted their respective positions, tripartite negotiations will resume with the aim of amending and adopting the legislation.

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