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EU carmakers' lobby calls proposed 45 percent CO2 cut target 'unrealistic'

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EU carmakers' lobby calls proposed 45 percent CO2 cut target 'unrealistic'
FILE PHOTO: Cars drive along a road in central Brussels March 8, 2007. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo   -   Copyright  Yves Herman(Reuters)
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European carmakers’ lobby on Tuesday called a stricter carbon dioxide reduction target proposed by EU lawmakers unrealistic and a threat to jobs and growth.

The European Parliament’s environment committee voted late on Monday for emission cuts for fleets of cars and vans of 20 percent by 2025 and 45 percent by 2030. The EU executive had proposed targets of 15 and 30 percent last autumn.

“We are very concerned by the direction taken,” Erik Jonnaert, head of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said in a statement. “The extremely stringent reduction levels adopted are totally unrealistic.”

The EU’s new rules aim to help meet the bloc’s 2030 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent from 1990 levels.

They will introduce a credit system for carmakers to encourage the rollout of electric vehicles and fines for exceeding CO2 limits.

Carmakers have argued that the charging infrastructure and the consumer market are not developed enough to allow a rapid shift to low-emission vehicles.

“This transition must be made at a pace that is manageable. This is vital not only for our industry and its workers, but also for consumers,” Jonnaert said.

The environment committee’s position tends to be more ambitious on climate legislation than that of the assembly as a whole.

Monday’s vote still requires the approval of a plenary session of the chamber expected early next month.

EU lawmakers would then begin what are expected to be tough talks with national governments to set final rules.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Jason Neely)

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