The European Parliament on Wednesday agreed on the target of a 40% reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars and trucks by 2030. The target, approved at a plenary session of the Parliament in Strasbourg, will serve as a reference in future negotiations with member States.
The European Commission had proposed a 30% reduction with regard to measures to be taken in 2021.
In September, the parliamentary commission proposed a more ambitious target of 45% by 2030, but the votes were divided, and intensive discussions followed between political groupings in recent weeks.
The biggest group in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), was worried about the economic interests of automobile manufacturers and preserving jobs in countries with strong auto industries such as Germany. It therefore called for an objective downward revision of the target to 35%, but, in the end, it had to give in on that issue.
“It’s interesting to see that the majority of the Parliament recognizes the need to set ambitious objectives for reducing CO2 emissions,” commented French euro parliamentarian Karima Delli (Greens-ALE). “The European Parliament is, unfortunately, too timid in the face of overwhelming evidence of climate change.”
Reducing CO2 emissions from new private cars and light utility vehicles (under 3.5 tonnes) should enable the EU to respect commitments it made under the Paris Accord (COP21) to slash general CO2 emissions by 40% of 1990 levels by 2030.
The position of EU ministers in charge of the Environment on emissions from new vehicles should be known on 9 October, following which negotiations between the European Council and the European Parliament will begin.