Carmakers accused of using crises to avert emissions crackdown

The motor industry has been accused by campaigners of trying to use the coronavirus crisis to avert stricter environmental regulation, after correspondence showed carmakers had lobbied the EU to defer impending laws.

The European carmakers’ association, ACEA, and other groups representing the supply chain called on the EU to delay implementing regulations because the pandemic had affected its “plans to comply”. Laws due to come into effect include tougher targets on vehicle CO2 emissions.

European laws on CO2 emissions of new vehicles have applied since 2015 and a further tightening of the rules is due in January 2021. Manufacturers could potentially face huge fines for non-compliance, although the targets have pushed production towards less polluting cars.
Campaigners described the call as shameless. Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Sauven, said: “Tackling one crisis can’t be done at the expense of another one.”
The commission made it clear that the European green deal, announced last December and the flagship policy of von der Leyen, would continue. The green deal will encompass all aspects of European industry, transport and environmental regulation, and require steep emissions reductions to meet the intended bloc-wide goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
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