Limits on carbon dioxide emissions from cars in the EU will be introduced later than initially planned, as the German government convinced the European prime ministers to revise the deal made in July this year.
Although the latest report by the European Environmental Agency highlights the fact that the levels of air pollutants in more than 90% of the European cities are dangerously high, Germany still managed to postpone the full implementation of the new regulations until 2024.
Initially, the limits were supposed to take effect in 2020, when cars should not emit more than 95g of carbon dioxide per km. However, this deal does not seem to suit the Germans, as the nation is known as one of the world’s leaders in the car industry.
The change in plans met the opposition of green parties in and outside Germany. The EU Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, strongly rejected the German proposal. Members of the leading Green Party in the country expressed their objections, stating that postponing the implementation of the limits will only result in car manufacturers slowing down the process of developing more efficient and less polluting vehicles. Other critics point out that this decision could reduce the efforts and investments in green alternatives, including electric and hybrid cars.
According to the new proposal, however, the 95g target will only apply to 80% of the vehicles on European roads by 2020, while the full limit will be introduced in 2024. This plan was backed up by the ministers, meaning that new negotiations should take place within the European Commission. Experts fear that new deal might not be reached before the next European elections that will take place in May 2014.