Are stricter CO2 goals for cars good for climate?

The EU's environmental ministers have agreed on a compromise for CO2 emissions limits for new cars. They are to be 35 percent lower compared to 2021 levels by 2030. The EU Parliament had demanded a reduction of 40 percent, while the German government insisted on no more than 30 percent. Whereas for some the compromise doesn't go far enough, others ask whether it can be implemented at all.

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Der Standard (AT) /

Car companies win at expense of environment

Car lobby paradise Germany has won a strategic victory against Austria, Der Standard comments angrily:

“What the government celebrated as a first major victory for the Austrian EU Council presidency was in fact a foreseeable compromise between Berlin, which wanted no more than 30 percent, and Paris, which was pushing for 40. In particular German Chancellor Angela Merkel resisted setting the target any higher to avoid putting excessive pressure on Germany's car industry, which wields great political clout. The car companies can now celebrate a small victory at the expense of the environment - no matter how urgently the IPCC is warning of the impact of traffic on global warming. Now we can only hope that the industry will take the CO2 reduction goals seriously.”

Zeit Online (DE) /

German brazenly watering down climate goals

The German government has become a negative force in the development of EU climate policy, Zeit Online laments:

“The argument is always the same, no matter whether it's about the energy industry or the automotive sector: the economy can't be restructured as quickly as all that; after all, many jobs are at stake. But Germany is taking brazenness to extremes when it says that of course it will still be able to reach its climate targets. Germany's climate goal in the car sector is to reduce emissions by 40 to 42 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2030. How much have they dropped already? Not a whit. Voters see this and feel they are being duped - climate protesters as well as drivers and automotive industry workers, for whom the government's shilly-shallying makes it hard to plan for the future.”

Les Echos (FR) /

Electromobility isn't emission-free either

Electromobility is all very well and good but is it feasible? asks David Barroux, editor-in-chief of the business paper Les Echos:

“Even electric cars aren't emission-free. ... Europe is turning its back on nuclear power to a large extent, but it will still need electricity to charge its batteries. Yet it's by no means certain that renewable energies will be sufficient to meet its demands. In voting for texts that don't cost a thing, politicians have the pleasant feeling that they're acting in the interests of society. But the potential collateral damage of their decisions must not be underestimated.”