New car emissions in the EU down by more than 10%
Carbon dioxide emissions from new cars in the EU decreased by nearly 11% between 1995 and 2002, figures from the Fourth Annual Report on CO2 Emissions from New Cars, show.
Welcoming these results, Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallstrom, said: "I appreciate the efforts that the car industry, in particular the European and Japanese industries, are making to reduce CO2 emissions. This is important as emissions from the transport sector are growing. Since 1990 there has been a 20% increase. If we want to reach our Kyoto targets, we have to lower CO2 emissions from transport."
She encouraged industry to take advantage of technological innovations that reduce CO2 from car emissions.
Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and Information, said: "I am encouraged by the good results achieved since 1995. Industry is pointing out that the targets remain extremely ambitious but the results so far show that they are taking the commitments very seriously. As for the Korean industries, the Commission expects they will catch up soon with the other two."
The commitments of the European (ACEA), Japanese (JAMA), and Korean (KAMA) car manufacturer's associations to reduce CO2 emissions to 140 grams per kilometre by 2008/2009, is the cornerstone of the EU's 1995 strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from new passenger cars to 120g/km by 2010 at the latest.
The report warned the manufacturers against meeting their targets through increasing the sale of diesel cars. Although these emit less CO2 than petrol-fuelled vehicles, it says, they release particles that can harm human health and cause smog.
Targets should only be met through technological developments and market changes linked to these developments, the report states.
By David Hopkins