Car efficiency vote stalls, again

Press release - October 4, 2013
Brussels – Germany has once again managed to postpone a deal on lowering the climate impact of Europe’s cars, in a move that Greenpeace says endangers the progress already made in tackling carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars in Europe.


The German government had blocked the formal approval of a deal agreed between EU countries, the European Parliament and the Commission in June [1]. After three months of delays, and a new proposal to postpone the 2020 climate target by four years, Germany once again managed to have today’s vote on the deal postponed. This delay indicates that Germany does not have enough support from other member states for its own, disastrous proposal, says Greenpeace.

Greenpeace EU transport policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “Germany is throwing its weight around to unravel a legislative target that was agreed five years ago, brushing aside all previous decisions taken by the Parliament, Council and Commission and forcing the hand of both the Irish and the Lithuanian Presidencies. If it succeeds in delaying the measure by four more years, it will only serve the short term economic interests of its luxury car producers. It will help reckless companies like Gazprom to squeeze the last drop of oil out of the Arctic only to propel inefficient BMW and Mercedes cars.”

Greenpeace maintains that these delays impact on emission reductions, business certainty for car manufacturers and their suppliers [2], and leave European motorists footing the bill. Continued improvements in car efficiency would not only reduce emissions and lower fuel bills, but could also generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the EU, according to a recent study by Cambridge Econometrics and others [3].

The issue will now be discussed at the meeting of environment ministers in Luxembourg on 14 October. Other member states must stand up to German bullying, says Greenpeace.


[1] Greenpeace, ‘EU legislators give in to German bullying on car efficiency standards’, 24 June 2013,

[2] European Association of Automotive Suppliers, ‘CO2 vehicles emissions regulation for 2020: time to decide’,

[3] Cambridge Econometrics, ‘Fuelling Europe’s Future: How auto innovation leads to EU jobs’


Franziska Achterberg - Greenpeace EU transport policy director: +32 (0)498 362 403,

Ed Davitt - Greenpeace media officer: +32 (0)476 988 584,


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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.