Sep 132012

New Rule – Less Emissions

Under a new proposed rule set out on July 11 in Brussels, within the next eight years new cars and vans throughout Europe will generate one-third less carbon dioxide. With the rule in place, new cars will have to have a maximum carbon dioxide level of 95g per kilometre by 2020. If these regulations are accepted, it will cut today’s emission levels by more than 40g per kilometre.

Will We and Car Manufacturers Accept

If these goals can be achieved it will greatly cut fuel consumption, thus saving money for European consumers, says Connie Hedegaard the climate chief of the European commission. But for this new regulation to be in place, it will have to be accepted by members of state and the European parliament, something that may be a bit tricky with car manufacturers backing up key politicians.

Billions Saved

If the rule is accepted, drivers of new cars in Europe would save on fuel costs, increasing the EU GDP as well as saving about 160m tonnes of imported oil. As a result, new jobs would be created.

Research and Development Cost

Car manufacturers protesting against the new emissions proposals say that it would mean spending heaps on research and development to adapt its production lines. The same was true when the new emissions rules were set for 2015, yet most manufacturers have met these targets, and ahead of schedule.

We want Cheaper Eco-Cars

Consumers today are actually taking notice that their cars are more fuel efficient thanks to the 2015 targets, says Hedegaard. Europeans today want cheaper, eco cars. Green campaigners agree with Hedegaard and even feel that the 2015 targets are too weak.

Green and Inefficient Car Balance

Greenpeace has offered a solution to car manufacturers to make the switch to green cars more cost efficient. The organisation proposes that if manufacturers could continue to make big, heavier cars with high emissions, this could be offset by also manufacturing a selection of more efficient eco cars. This way they could continue to make inefficient cars while actually saving on emissions through the production of these green cars.

Greenpeace Opinion

Greenpeace EU’s transport policy director Franziska Achterberg said that there is much to be gained by implementing high efficiency targets, not only for drivers but also for the climate. In order for this to happen, emissions from vans will have to drop from the 2010 limit of 181.4g to 147g/km in 2020. Greenpeace thinks that this will unfortunately also not be enough to have a major impact.

All in all a Positive Proposal

Having fuel economy and emissions standards is good for jobs and the European economy, says Greg Archer, programme manager for clean vehicles at Transport and Environment. He also says that it is good for the planet, and is a positive proposal. If the commission had shown more ambition, the benefits of these new targets could have been much greater, he added.

Hedegaard reported that the commission is currently working on targets for 2020. A target of 80g/km is definitely realistic and would save drivers about €650 (£510 ish) a year.

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