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MEPs bend but do not break under car lobby pressure


Press release - April 24, 2013
Brussels, 24 April 2013 – Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee have voted in favour of long-term targets to improve car fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by 2025. But MEPs also voted to weaken the EU’s 2020 target said Greenpeace.

MEPs agreed that average emissions for new cars in 2025 should be within a maximum range of 68-78 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. The exact target, they suggest, should be firmed up before 2017.


Reacting to the vote, Greenpeace EU transport policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “European parliamentarians have shown foresight by backing standards for 2025. This timeline would give carmakers enough time to clean up their act. But the range they indicate is still too high to truly drive investments in technological innovation. Greenpeace is calling for a target of no more than 60g CO2/km in 2025.                                                                                                                     

MEPs also backed loopholes [1] that would weaken a previously agreed standard of 95g CO2/km for 2020. These loopholes, known as supercredits, would allow electric cars to count more towards the average emissions of a car fleet than SUVs. The effect of this accounting trick would be to increase carbon emissions, raise costs for drivers and drain the European economy with expensive oil imports. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, has already committed to reach the 2020 target without loopholes [2].

“MEPs have fallen into the trap set by carmakers claiming that standards can only be met if they are riddled with loopholes. But carmakers have cried wolf before, proving themselves wrong by innovating faster than they said they could,” [3] added Achterberg.

Greenpeace calls on European governments and the European Commission to back stronger targets for 2025 and to reject loopholes that would weaken the existing 2020 target [4].

The Irish EU presidency has said it aims to broker a deal on car standards between the Parliament, European governments and the Commission by the end of June.


[1] Compliance by creative accounting: How supercredits would undermine the EU’s car CO2 standards for 2020 (briefing), www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/Publications/2013/Supercredits-briefing/

[2] Volkswagen and Greenpeace underline strict CO2 limits for new cars,http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/info_center/en/news/2013/03/Volkswagen_and_Greenpeace_underline_strict_CO2_limits_for_new_cars.html

[3] Tired of hot air? Car industry claims vs. reality (briefing), http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/Global/eu-unit/reports-briefings/2013/A4_myths_reality.pdf

[4] The case for 2025 targets for CO2 emissions from cars and vans (briefing) http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/Global/eu-unit/reports-briefings/2013/20130130%20BR%202025%20car%20emission%20target_final.pdf



Franziska Achterberg – Greenpeace EU transport policy director:

, +32 (0)2 274 1918

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.