Greenpeace convoy drives low-emissions message to MEPs

Press release - 8 September, 2008
A Greenpeace 'low-emissions convoy' will take to the streets of Brussels at noon today, showcasing car models that already meet the EU's emissions target of CO2 per km. The convoy of eight cars, which will stop on Place Luxembourg, outside the European Parliament, illustrates that low emission models are already available and cost-effective for a number of leading carmakers, refuting manufacturers' claims that they need more time to comply.

"All of the cars here today(1) are on sale now and their emissions are well below the EU targets that car manufacturers want to delay by three years to 2015," said Melanie Francis, Greenpeace International transport campaigner. "These cars are proof that the industry is just stalling for time to keep profits high and continue business as usual."

The convoy coincides with the publication of a Greenpeace report, 'Off track: inflated claims of the car industry,' which shows that the financial and social costs of compliance with environmental rules have repeatedly been overestimated by the car industry.  A new Greenpeace manual, '10 easy steps to cut car emissions' also presents existing technological solutions to reduce emissions. It shows that scrapping the two largest engines for each model would lead to a 10-12% reduction in average fleet fuel consumption.

Proposed emission standards for cars are under attack from the car industry, which says it needs more time to bring down car emissions and cannot comply within the deadline proposed(2). Heavy lobbying by the industry has meant that the European Parliament's Industry Committee supported these demands in an opinion on 1 September(3).

"This legislation is aimed at accelerating CO2 reductions in the car sector, following the failure of the industry's voluntary commitments," said Franziska Achterberg, Greenpeace EU transport campaigner. "Lawmakers are making themselves irrelevant if they do not require carmakers to take action ahead of 2012."

Greenpeace is calling on MEPs to vote for cleaner and efficient cars and to bring in the car emissions target in 2012.

Other contacts: Franziska Achterberg - Greenpeace EU transport policy campaigner
+32 (0)2 2741 918, +32 (0)498 3624 03 (mobile)

Mark Breddy - Greenpeace EU communications manager
+32 (0)2 2741 903, +32 (0)496 15 62 29 (mobile)

PHOTO: +44 (0) 207 865 8230,
VIDEO: +31 (0) 646162015,

Notes: (1) The low emission car convoy includes: Opel Corsa 1.3 cdti (119g/km); Renault Clio 1.5 dci (119 g/km); Ford Fiesta 1.5 dtci (119 g/km); VW POLO 1.4 TDI 70 CV (119 g/km); Citroën C4 1.6 HDI (120g/km); Smart Fortwo 0.8 CDI 30 KW (88 g/km); Toyota Prius 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid (104 g/km); Peugeot 207 1.4 Hdi (117 g/km).

(2) The European Commission has proposed legislation that will oblige carmaker to meet a target of 130g/km by 2012. An overall target of 120g /km is supposed to be reached with 'complementary measures.'

(3) The Industry Committee passed an opinion to inform the decision of the Environment Committee expected later this month. The Industry Committee voted that only 60% of all cars need to hit the target of 130 g/km in 2012. The EU fleet average would in this case only drop to about 154 g/km in 2012 from 158 g/km in 2007.