Home Page About Us Contribute

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

The Lady’s Not For Greening

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives

The Lady’s Not For Greening

Geoff Maxted
October 14, 2013

European Union
A few days ago DriveWrite reported that Germany’s Iron Lady, Angela Merkel, had effectively blocked new EU rules on capping car emissions. Today is the day that EU environment ministers gather together to debate the issue, presumably between the long lunch courses.

Clearly this defence by Chancellor Merkel was to protect jobs and the German prestige car makers at a time she was seeking re-election. Now she has got to back it up. So much for Euro-cooperation when it comes down to national interest.

The European Union reached a deal in June to limit CO²emissions from all new cars to 95 grams per kilometre from 2020. Germany has refused to accept it and has attempted to win the support of other member states to delay the measure.

Some European car manufacturers are happy with the new rules But it is clear that Germany's premium brands - Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen's Audi - which produce heavier and less fuel-efficient vehicles than those from mass-market manufacturers, would find it very difficult to meet the target.

EU environment ministers are getting together in Luxembourg today (never heard of video-conferencing then), but unsurprisingly are not expected to reach an agreement. There’s going to be a ‘summit’ of the heads of state later in October, this time in Brussels. Perhaps they can thrash it out.

Germany’s environment minister said, “It's not a fight over principles but how we bind the necessary clarity in climate protection with the required flexibility and competitiveness to protect the car industry in Europe.” Translated, this means ‘we’re all for climate protection but only on our terms.’

The problem is, the Germans appear to be swimming against the tide. Environmentalists and consumer groups representing motorists who want to pay less for fuel, say an overwhelming majority of member states had already backed the compromise, reached in June, on introducing more efficient, lower-emission cars.

Next year there are going to be European Parliamentary elections which means another rash of new EU commissioners so the whole business could end up being delayed for a couple of years until a compromise is reached.

Chancellor Merkel has another problem. To govern effectively she has to cosy up to the German Green Party for support. Needless to say, they want the new rules now. Like an athlete that has taken too much syrup of figs, this story is going to run and run.

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute