Carmakers call for EU to rethink tough CO2 limits

In response to the upcoming vote on imposing stricter CO2 limits, carmakers have warned that cuts could harm the industry and cost jobs. In preparation for tough talks later this year, EU lawmakers will be voting later in the week on whether to increase the CO2 limit to 45% by the year 2030, rather than the previous proposal of 30%.

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental health risks in Europe, according to a report by the EU Court of Auditors. The report highlighted the extent of the problem, estimating that it could be causing as many as 400,000 premature deaths every year in the EU. This, along with the effects on the environment and the planet, are a major for environmentalists.

However, car manufacturers have warned that there needs to be a balance between climate goals and competitiveness within the industry. Erik Jonnaert, the head of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said in a statement: “The more aggressive the CO2 reduction targets are, the more disruptive the socio-economic impacts will be.” He continued: “The stakes of Wednesday’s vote are extremely high for the entire sector.”

Furthermore, he added that the answer to reducing emissions is by investing more into the electric car industry. He added that although carmakers are putting money into developing new electric and hybrid vehicles, sales remain low, and governments should be providing more incentives and investment into the industry. A number of experts agree that this crucial to combating climate change.

But, environmental groups and campaigners argue that strict targets for emissions are needed to reach the EU targets. As the transport sector is the only industry where emissions are still rising, it needs to be addressed if the bloc wants to meet the overall target of reducing pollution by 40% by the year 2030, in comparison to the levels seen in 1990. “It will be a big battle to maintain minus 45 (percent) on the table,” said EU lawmaker Bas Eickhout, a member of the Green group, which has been calling for increased targets in European Parliament.

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