EU deal on cars could halve CO2 emissions by 2025

The EU Parliament and Council have agreed a deal that could lead to a doubling of the fuel-efficiency of new cars by 2025 and a halving of CO2 emissions.

Subject to ratification by EU member states, the agreement will mean the average fuel economy of new cars, currently around 6 litres/100km, will fall to 4 litres by 2020.

The agreement also anticipates that fuel efficiency will improve by 4-6% a year after 2020, which could result in fuel economy by 2025 being below 3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions below 70g/km.

Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan said: “The agreement strikes an appropriate balance between environmental ambition and economic considerations.

“This agreement will not only protect climate but will save consumers money and will boost innovation and competitiveness in the European car industry, creating much needed jobs in the process.”

The deal also means that average new car emissions will be limited to 95g/km from 2020, down from the 130g/km limit set for 2015, but the European Parliament and Council have failed to agree on an exact target for 2025. 

The agreement also allows for the continued use of “supercredits” which are incentives to encourage car manufacturers to develop breakthrough technologies.

However, NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) says these often allow carmakers to make less progress in reducing emissions from conventional cars.

T&E’s Greg Archer said: “The deal shows the EU recognises its economic future is dependent upon driving innovation towards more efficient, environmentally-friendly cars. But gas-guzzlers would have been condemned to history had the EU adopted a 2025 target and less generous supercredits in 2020.”

Conor McGlone

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