Victory! European Parliament votes to reduce emissions from gas guzzlers

Feature story - September 25, 2008
In a long-awaited display of responsibility, the European Parliament’s Environment committee has voted through a strong package to reduce emissions from cars. As the committee went into session, it seemed certain that a compromise package riddled with loopholes would be the one to pass. However, the MEPs voted to stick with meaningful legislation, turning their backs on nine months of lobbying by the car industry.

Activists from Greenpeace Spain climbed the Osborne Bull, an internationally known symbol of Spanish roads, to "protect" him from increasing CO2 emissions from cars.

Under the new deal, average fleet emissions from new cars, which are currently around 158 grams 

  • Must be reduced to 130 grams/km by 2012
  • Must fall further to 95 grams by 2020
  • For every gram over the average a manufacturer will face fines of 95 euro per car

The proposal still has to pass the full EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers. But this is now increasingly likely to happen, and we'll be defending this package every inch of the way.

The ruling comes as a huge blow to the car industry lobby, which has shamelessly defended its right to drive climate change by putting profits ahead of the climate. The lobby, led by Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW will now have to embrace a low carbon future.

You can read the history of the lobbying effort at our Peoples' Lobby website.

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Please write to the Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, today asking her to support strong emissions standards.

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