Germany tables new EU emission rules to protect auto industry

City A.M. Reporter
GERMANY has put forward a new proposal to weaken EU draft rules on vehicle emission limits for carbon dioxide as it struggles to persuade other nations to help it protect its powerful car industry, EU sources said.

Talks on a legal text are in their final stages, but German efforts to ensure its luxury car makers, such as BMW and Daimler, can continue to produce more polluting, less fuel efficient cars, have complicated the debate.

Last week, Germany had to abandon another proposal it had made because it did not get enough support, the sources said.

“The latest German proposals are causing problems and really came very late. I’m not sure if we can get a deal,” one EU diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ireland, holder of the EU presidency until the end of the month, has said it hopes to get a political agreement and will take part in what is meant to be a final set of talks today.

The proposal from the Commission, the EU’s executive, sets a goal of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g/km) as an average for new vehicles sold in Europe from 2020. Each manufacturer is assigned an individual target to take account of the nature of their fleet and their past cuts. But making less-polluting cars is costly and restricts profit margins, which is why major German manufacturers want to delay the stricter rules.