Climate triumphs over car industry!

Big success! See press release from GUE/NGL below.
Brussels 25/09/2008
Climate triumphs over car industry!
The European Parliament’s environment committee voted today on emission performance standards for passenger cars. An industry-friendly EPP and PSE deal collapsed when a number of socialist MEPs decided to vote in favour of the climate.

Expressing his satisfaction at the outcome of the vote, GUE/NGL shadow rapporteur, Swedish MEP Jens Holm, said ”this is an historic moment. Up until yesterday evening, things looked very bleak. However, when I and my colleague from the Green group asked for roll-call votes on certain amendments, a number of PSE members suddenly changed position.”

Today’s vote sets targets for manufacturers’ car fleets of an average 120g CO2/km as from 2012 and a long-term target of 95g CO2/km by 2020. The EPP-PSE compromise suggested a phase-in approach that would have meant that the regulation would not be enforced until 2015.

The committee also voted in favour of sticking to the Commission’s proposal of setting penalties in cases of non-compliance to the tune of 20 euros per excess emissions grams from 2012, to be raised to €95 by 2015. This is quite an achievement given that the PSE-EPP compromise stipulated only €50, basically making it cheaper for the car industry to buy itself out of legislation than to comply with the emission targets.

Concluding, MEP Holm said ”even though some minor exemptions for flexi-fuel cars were adopted, I am generally very happy with the result.”

For Italian GUE/NGL MEP Roberto Musacchio, Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s Climate Change Committee, ”we have finally taken some meaningful commitments with definite emission reductions and precise deadlines.” This vote represents ”a fundamental point of reference to guide technological innovation, to participate in the fight against climate change and to reassure enterprises,” MEP Musacchio concluded.