Revision of the CO2 emission standards

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Regulation (EU) 2019/631 adopted on 17 April 2019 setting CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars set the average target for new passenger cars at 95 grams CO2/km from 2020. The reduction in CO2 levels is to be calculated from this value in 2021. The regulation stipulates that CO2 emissions from new cars must be reduced by 15 percent by 2025 and by 37.5 percent by 2030.

However, the automotive industry and other representatives rejected a tightening of standards in the wake of the corona pandemic, as the automotive industry is one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic crisis. So far there has been no official statement from the Commission on whether it would suspend the planned introduction of new CO2 emission targets for the fleet for a limited period of time and whether plans for stricter emission standards would be maintained despite the corona virus crisis. This is exactly what Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, answered on 18 August 2020 at the request of MEP Sylvia Limmer (IDG).


While Commissioner Breton undoubtedly acknowledged that the automotive industry is particularly affected by the crisis and that at the same time it represents a strategic industry for the future of Europe, he stressed that the industry must become a leading industry for low- and zero-emission vehicles if it is to flourish. He added that the industry is supported in this by the recent EU proposal Next Generation EU.


Breton ruled out a withdrawal of the CO2 standards set by Regulation (EU) 2019/631 , as the latest registration data show that the share of emission-free vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the EU has increased to 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 despite the general decline in vehicle registrations, compared to 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019, so that consumer demand continues to move in this direction. A Commission proposal for the revision of Regulation (EU) 2019/631, as announced in the European Green Deal, is scheduled for June 2021.


Nor can the stricter air pollutant emission standards for vehicles with combustion engines, which the Commission is expected to adopt by 2021 (Euro 7), be withdrawn. The Commission is currently carrying out an evaluation of the Euro 6/VI vehicle emission standards and will examine to what extent these regulations have contributed to reducing air pollutant emissions from road traffic. The conclusions of this evaluation will feed into the Euro 7 impact assessment.

Related links: ▪ Question by Sylvia Limmer.

Response by Commissioner Breton.

Regulation (EU) 2019/631.

ACEA: Overview market distribution and trends.

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