Slalom towards common CO2 emission standards

Updated: May 15, 2019

Following the conclusion of the interinstitutional trialogue negotiations on new CO2 emission standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles on 17 December, the

provisional agreement was adopted by Parliament on 27 March and by the Council on

15 April. The formal adoption of the new rules by the Council marks the end of the procedure.

The agreement now stipulates that CO2 emissions from new cars must be reduced by 15

percent by 2025 and by 37.5 percent by 2030. Thus, the value of the 2025 interim target

corresponds to that of the Commission's original proposal and that of the Council's general

approach. Parliament argued for a 20 percent reduction by 2025, but the negotiators agreed on the golden mean, which is 7.5 percent higher than the original Commission proposal.

Currently, the EU average for new cars should not exceed 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre in

2021. From this 2021 value, the reduction of CO2 values is calculated. The most recent EU average was 118.5 grams. In addition to the CO2 targets, the negotiators of the Member States and the Parliament agreed on an incentive system for low-emission and zeroemission vehicles (>50 grams CO2 per kilometre) in countries with low sales. A bonus multiplier of 0.7 applies to these countries in order to increase the number of clean cars. If the share of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles reaches 5% of a country's fleet, the multiplier ends.

During the negotiations, this section in particular was the subject of discussion. The Council

provided for a double counting of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles in EU Member States whose turnover is below 60% of the EU average (2021). This scheme would have allowed car manufacturers to choose where to register their low-emission and zero-emission vehicles. This allowed manufacturers to register their cars in a double-counted country, but shortly afterwards sell them in another country with a larger market.

However, Parliament suffered a setback when it introduced a penalty for car manufacturers that did not supply enough zero-emission and lowemission vehicles. This was blocked by the

Council and the Commission. Small car manufacturers producing less than 300,000 cars a year will be exempted from all regulations until 2028.


Further links:

- Press Release: Approval Parliament

- Press Release: Approval Council

- Text of the regulation

- Adoption note

- Statements by the Commission

- Commission proposal

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