New European Commission proposals, published today, to limit automobile carbon emissions have drawn criticism from environmentalists who claim they will favour the manufacturers of big German cars.
The draft proposals call for a cap on carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 of an average 95 grams per kilometre per new passenger vehicle, against 130 grams today.
But under present regulations, manufacturers of powerful cars such as Germany's Daimler or BMW, have been offered a higher limit than average, meaning makers of smaller, lighter cars must contribute more to the overall goal.
And environmentalists say the new proposals offer big cars even more leeway to pollute than under existing rules.
Franziska Achterberg, a traffic expert with Greenpeace in Brussels, said: “The new proposition moves even closer to German manufacturers.”
Even then, it remains short of the wishes of the German car lobby.
Greenpeace also fears a suggestion still under discussion could further weaken the targets, as it gives a manufacturer the opportunity to win credits for electric cars that emit zero CO2, even if they are not effectively sold to customers.
German conservative MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz also criticised the move to grant higher caps to manufacturers of heavier cars, saying “there are not enough incentives to build lighter cars”