Sarkozy and Merkel Cozy Up on EU's Plan to Cap Car Emissions
Submitted by Danielle Jarvis
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel have put their support behind the EU Commission's proposal of limiting the average CO2 emissions of new cars entering the market to 120 grammes/km from 2012. While backing this target, both countries agreed on the need for a substantial period to introduce such caps, and to soften the penalties if binding targets are missed. The EU Commission proposed a fine of €20 per gramme over the limit in 2012, rising to €35 in 2013, €60 in 2014, and €95 in 2015.
The agreement between Merkel and Sarkozy is seen as somewhat of a breakthrough, since the two had previously taken different positions on the issue, due in part to the fact that Germany produces larger, heavier vehicles such as BMW, Daimler and Porsche while French carmakers tend to produce lighter, more energy-efficient automobiles, such as Peugeot and Renault.
Canada’s federal government under Stephen Harper has not announced any plans to target tailpipe emissions through manufacturers, although BC recently introduced Bill 39 - 2008 Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Vehicle Emissions Standards) Act [as discussed in a previous blog posting, April 30, 2008] which targets auto manufacturers, and sets out pre-determined fleet-average GHG emissions standards for family vehicles such as cars, SUVs, minivans and small trucks. The Bill received Royal Asset on May 29, 2008 and will come into force by Regulation.