From the point of view of the Chamber of Labour, the Commission proposal on CO2 targets for car manufacturers does not contain enough ambitious measures to reduce passenger car emissions; nor does it include any binding quotas for electric cars. However, before the summer break, the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport issued its Opinion, in which it significantly watered down the Commission proposal. Now, the ball is in the corner of the Parliament’s Committee on Environment, which is in charge of this Commission proposal. Hence, improvements are necessary.
The European Commission intends to use the Regulation on CO2 standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to realise three important targets: (1) achieving the climate policy targets by 2030, (2) a fuel saving for consumers and (3) an increase of the competitiveness of the European car industry. Concrete proposals include a reduction of CO2 emissions from 15 % for 2025 and of 30 % for newly registered passenger cars for 2030 and for light commercial vehicles (for the base year 2021) and part from that an incentive system for the production of zero and low emission vehicles, such as electric cars.
The Chamber of Labour criticises this Regulation proposal for various reasons. What is fundamentally lacking is an imbedding in a larger setting, which is necessary for the car industry in its capacity as an employment and industrial policy key sector to deal with the forthcoming structural change. This requires a binding framework at EU level, which provides for a mandatory development of the charging infrastructure for alternative fuels, action programmes to (re)train the workforce affected and the development of research programmes to create new value chains for electric and fuel-cell drives. On this basis, it would also be possible for the car industry to realise more ambitious CO2 targets. This has among other already been demonstrated by the fact that major car manufacturers in the European market (BMW, Daimler, Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen) voluntarily already announced higher sales targets for zero and low emission vehicles by 2025, thereby being more ambitious than the Commission proposal.
In order to be able to seriously deal with the environmental challenges, the reduction, in the opinion of the AK, must reach 25 % as early as 2025; the reason being the slow renewal of the existing passenger car fleets in the Member States. The European Parliament's advisory Committee on Transport and Tourism has made some relevant ambitious and concrete proposals. However, some of these amendments, for example the targeted basically carbon free mobility by 2050 as well as higher reduction targets at an earlier time, could not find a majority at the vote on 10.07.2018. On the contrary, the finally adopted report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism only provides for a reduction target of 15 % by 2030. The requirements in the new leading markets (e.g. China) and the form of the structural change, which affect employees in the car industry, are only addressed marginally. Hence, here too the chance has been wasted to present concrete and forward-looking proposals for a future-oriented and climate compatible mobility economy.
Now the ball is in the corner of the Committee on Environment, as it is in charge of this legislative proposal. The AK urges MEPs to use the planned vote on September 10th to send a strong signal for a modern and sustainable mobility of the future and in doing so strengthen the European location for business.