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EU CO2 emissions report

01 May 2014

On April 30, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published its annual review Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in the EU: summary of data for 2013. According to the report, the 2013 new car fleet average for CO2 emissions was 3.9% lower than in 2012 and, at 127 g/km, fell beneath the 2015 target of 130 g/km for the first time. Although welcome news, the automakers still have to contend with a second-stage target of 95 g/km by 2021.

“The average car sold last year was almost 10 % more efficient than the average car sold in 2010, when monitoring started,” EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said. “This is good news. But passenger transport still generates a significant part of total greenhouse gas emissions of the EU, so we need to think about more sustainable transport systems – the car cannot solve all our problems in the 21st Century.”

However, the environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E), while recognizing the progress made by car manufacturers in reducing climate-changing emissions, has questioned to validity of the data compared with real world car performance. Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: “Fuel efficiency standards for vehicles are Europe’s single most effective policy to drive down CO2 emissions, but are being undermined by an obsolete test. The test procedures are a Swiss cheese, full of loopholes, that carmakers exploit to exaggerate improvements in fuel economy and emissions."

By 2017, the EU hopes to replace the 1970’s-era New European Driving Cycle upon which the CO2 results are based with the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle emissions Test Procedure (WLTP) adopted by the World Forum last March (Global Technical Regulation No. 15). However, some automakers such as BMW have urged postponing introduction until 2020 or later.

The EEA report gathers data from EU member-states in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 443/2009. This regulation sets a new-car fleet average CO2 target of 130 g/km by 2015. However, because manufacturers produce cars in different weights and categories, each manufacturer has an individual emission target that it must meet.

These individual manufacturer‐specific targets are binding: if the average of the CO2 emissions of a manufacturer’s fleet exceeds its specific emissions target, the manufacturer has to pay an excess emissions premium for each new car registered.

This EEA report is based upon a provisional dataset that will be adjusted later once complete data has been gathered from the vehicle manufacturers (although the provisional data has previously been very close to the final figures). This is the fourth year the EEA has published this emissions data.

Click here to download the EEA report.

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