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Thursday, December 13, 2007

The battle of Peugo and BMW

EU car emission rules reveal Franco-German rift

As the Commission prepares to unveil detailed legislation on cutting carbon dioxide emissions from cars, France has already set itself up for a battle with Germany on the issue, with Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo criticising a German proposal for a system where heavier cars would be allowed to pollute more than others.

"By virtue of the polluter pays principle, those with the biggest pollution should make the biggest progress [on cutting emissions]", France's environment minister told the Financial Times on 14 November, adding: "Nothing justifies giving a bigger right to pollute to the buyer of a bigger vehicle."
German manufacturers have been advocating a system where Europe's automotive industry would receive differentiated caps according to the weight of the vehicles they produce, thus enabling heavier cars, such as SUVs and luxury models, to exceed a target of 130 grammes of CO2 per kilometre set by the Commission.
German manufacturers typically produce larger, high-performance vehicles, while French and Italian manufacturers are specialised in smaller, more fuel-efficient models.
A report by the green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), published on 15 November, reveals that French carmakers, including Peugeot, Citroen and Renault, have much lower average carbon emissions than German ones, like Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler and BMW (144 g/km versus 173 g/km). Moreover, they also succeeded in cutting their emissions by 1.9% between 2005 and 2006, while German manufacturers actually increased their emissions by 0.6% - contradicting Europe's ambitious climate change goals.
Borloo said the German proposal would constrain the market for small vehicles and encourage the production of heavier cars rather than promote innovative technologies aimed at making bigger cars lighter.
T&E adds that there is "a strong relationship" between a car's weight and its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and that for each percentage point of weight saved on a vehicle, its emissions would be cut by 0.8%.
Basing CO2 standards on weight would thus be "completely counterproductive because it punishes weight reductions with tougher standards", said T&E Director Jos Dings.
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) earlier this year defended a weight-based approach as "likely to be the best parameter to distribute the cap among industry" in order to preserve diversity for consumers (EurActiv 30/08/07). Different brands cater for different market segments, it stressed.
source: EuroAktiv
My comment: I completely agree with everything said in the article. Even more, I see terrible tendency on the roads of driver of german cars like BMW and Audi to drive irresponsibly and to act like they are invincible. Which would be fine if they died when they crashed, but thanks to the safety mechanisms usually the other guys involved in the crash dies. And anyway, who cares about that? I want cleaner air, if small cars have to obey the laws, the big ones should do the same. Ok, small cars will have to do less effort in cutting the taxes, but in the same time, big cars cost way more. Then there is a balance.Stop complaining and start acting. Even more, if EU makes a compromise for the big cars, then everybody will start driving big cars which will emit more and pollute more. And I don't think that's all right!

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