Political support is growing for legally-binding limits on carbon dioxide emissions from road vehicles. Two ministers from car powerhouse Germany have publicly backed EU-wide measures under consideration. A clash between Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, who opposes binding legislation, and Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, who supports it, has blocked proposals from going forward.
Voluntary curbs by the industry having failed, Brussels was going to present its proposals this Wednesday; That has been delayed. A current target set by the Commission is for 120 grammes of CO2 per kilometer, by 2012. Transport and Environment NGO expert Aat Peter insists now is the time to make this stick. He said: “It is very important because it is actually a historical chance to do something serious about transport CO2 emissions. If the Commission will now not come forward with proposals to curb seriously CO2 emissions by cars, they will actually lose the opportunity to do that.”
Despite opposition from the auto industry that generates one of every seven jobs in Germany, its environment and transport ministers themselves have called for mandatory EU greenhouse gas guidelines.