02 Dec 2008 05:12:54
EU cars to cut carbon
An EU law obliging car manufacturers to cut their fleet's carbon emissions has been watered down by the decision to give some car companies a temporary exemption, according to campaigners.
The cap on carbon emissions will require automakers to ensure that 65 per cent of their fleet emits 130 grams or less of the greenhouse gas a kilometre by 2020.
However, Germany's BMW and Mercedes, the UK's Jaguar and Aston Martin and Italy's Maserati, Fiat and Ferrari are among the companies that will not have to meet the target.
They will be allowed to produce higher-emitting vehicles until 2014 and by 2015 all manufacturers must have implemented the lower emissions target across all their range.
According to UK MEP Martin Callan, the exemptions will allow the motor industry to deal with the financial downturn better.
He said: "This deal represents a balance between the needs of the environment and the car industry across Europe, which is suffering massively at the moment."
However, Greenpeace's transport campaigner expressed her dismay, saying: "Countries like Germany and Italy have wrecked the car law by defending the short-sighted interests of their national car industries."
She added: "The car industry has been driving negotiations all along and EU politicians have been happy to sit in the passenger seat making comments about the scenery."
The Committee for Climate Change's Building a Low Carbon Economy highlighted the importance of low emissions cars in meeting the UK target of cutting emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.