'Sarkozy' and 'Merkel' as bride and groom on the Champs Elysée in Paris. With this parody wedding, Greenpeace is highlighting the danger that the Franco-German partnership will result in very weak European regulations,benefiting a German car industry that is both influential and dirty.
A lavish affair, the bride will be escorted down the aisle by
the German car industry, which has provided a very dirty dowry for
the happy couple. But, as France and Germany look set to get into
bed together, we're sad to say we won't be hearing the
pitter-patter of tiny feet any time soon.
Instead, we'll hear the continued roaring and revving of
climate-crashing, gas-guzzling car engines. The wedding - which
will cost EU citizens dearly and be held at the expense of planet
Earth - will take place on 9 June during the Franco-German
The happy couple will share the top table with the transport
sector, they will be celebrating and dancing long into the night.
An exquisite wedding cake has been baked, although nobody outside
of France or Germany can expect to be offered a slice. And remember
… that won't be a bouquet you'll see Merkel tossing blissfully over
her shoulder - it'll be the climate objectives of France and
We thought it'd only be polite to lay on a special treat for the
pair - so today, a wedding cortege composed of the most-polluting
German cars travelled along the Champs Elysée to distribute the
We even went to the presidential palace and the French
Environment Ministry, delivering an official letter asking
President Sarkozy and his Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo
not to give up the fight against climate change. What we're really
highlighting today is how dangerous this union could actually turn
out to be.
Lifting the Veil…
France is only months away from taking up the 6-months rotating
EU Presidency. During France's presidency, the EU must adopt a new
regulation to limit average CO2 emissions from new vehicles.
The EU must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in order to
fight climate change, and it is the transport sector which is key
to achieving this - while other sectors have seen decreasing
emissions, since 1990 the transport sector's have increased by
around 26 percent.
European car manufacturers, of course, have been ferociously
opposing binding regulation. In 1998 they made a voluntary
commitment to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars to 140 g/km by the
beginning of this year, but so far they've only managed an average
of 160 g/km.
Fortunately for them, they have a champion for their cause - the
bride herself, obsessed by the financial interests of Germany's car
Leading us up the aisle
France has, until now, strongly favoured penalties, a size-based
criteria for burden-sharing and the targets set for 2012. Sarkozy
has constantly repeated the message that everyone must do the
maximum possible to address climate change. Now it appears that
Sarkozy is going to make a u-turn as the wedding car sweeps the
newlyweds off on a honeymoon.
If the pre-nuptial agreement also involves a little backsliding
on its own stance on climate change, it seems France is prepared to
sign the dotted line. As both France and Germany are major
car-making countries, it's extremely likely that any deals struck
between them will also become the position of all EU Member States.
This particular wedding may set a trend that others will
follow…and the bride hasn't even had the decency to blush.
We won't be sending the happy couple the usual pop-up toaster or
coffee-making machine as a wedding present. Here's what's on our
list of the things that would secure an ideal future for everyone
in the EU:
Greenpeace wants lawmakers to
strengthen the proposed legislation by:
- including a 120g CO2/km standard as a fleet average for 2012;
and a longer-term target of 80g CO2/km by 2020;
- basing emission standards on a car's size (its 'footprint') and
not its weight;
- setting effective penalties of at least 150 EUR per gram CO2 in
excess of the corporate fleet standard for every car sold;
- setting a CO2 emission standard applicable to each car, which
is enforced through the EU's type approval legislation.
You can send your own message of congratulations to the
love-struck couple; join the 30,000 others who have signed our e-petition
against this dirty deal!
Please write to the Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, today asking her to support strong emissions standards.