Fleet News

EU owns up to car pollution hypocrisy

EUROPEAN political leaders have been accused of hypocrisy after admitting that vehicles used by senior staff create twice as much pollution as the limits they are forcing on car manufacturers.

In response to a question put forward by Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Davies, the European Commission admitted that the average level of admissions produced in 85 vehicles allocated to commissioners and other staff is more than 258g/km.

Last week, the commission threatened more stringent legislation to combat carbon dioxide output if car makers did not do more to reduce CO2 emissions (Fleet NewsNet, September 7).

Davies said MEPs fared little better as information shows the Brussels assembly’s fleet of 40 limousines produce average emissions of 216g/km.

He added: ‘It is no longer acceptable for Brussels to insist people should do as we say rather than do as we do. The lesson for MEPs and European Commissioners is that it is time we practised what we preach.’

Jos Dings, director of environmental organisation T&E, said: ‘We can and must reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles but it would be an easier task if top EU officials took a lead and set an example.

‘There are scores of cars on the market which already comply with the emission targets, and these cars do not just save greenhouse gas emissions, but also lots of taxpayers’ money compared to the vehicles that are being used at present.’

Brussels wants manufacturers to meet a voluntary target of reducing average CO2 emissions from new cars to 140g/km by 2008.

Günther Verheugen, commission vice-president, said: ‘Car manufacturers have made continuous and substantial progress since 1995, but the situation is not satisfactory. I urge the industry to step up their efforts. We expect the industry to stick to its commitments.’

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