CO2 standards for cars urgently needed

25 October 2006

CO2 standards for cars urgently needed

SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen is calling on Christian Democrat (CDA) Environment Secretary Pieter Van Geel to set binding standards for CO2 emissions from car exhausts.

As things stand, car manufacturers are supposed to be guided by a voluntary agreement limiting emissions, but the absence of any sanctions means that many simply ignore this. Krista van Velzen, the SP's spokeswoman on environmental affairs, said “Just as it has for sulphur and particulate pollutants, the European Union must without delay establish compulsory standards for carbon dioxide (CO2). New cars not meeting such standards should be kept off the roads."

To date the EU has failed to lay down obligatory standards of CO2 exhaust emission because such rules would put an end to big cars. Car manufacturers have, it's true, agreed amongst themselves a maximum average emission level, but most now admit that this target will not be reached until at least 2008, despite the fact that the intention was that these targets would in fact be made more exacting.

Krista van Velzen“It's not very long since the Netherlands was given a rap on the knuckles by EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas for failing to demand more when it comes to lowering CO2 emissions," Ms Van Velzen recalled. "Cars make a major contribution to this problem and clearly voluntary improvement is not going to happen in the near future. The market is not offering a solution to this problem of its own creation and for this reason the authorities must introduce binding rules. I am asking the government to do this."

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