Friday 15 December 2017

Tighter rules on car emissions are stalled by Merkel

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

THE introduction of stricter EU rules on car emissions has been stalled after Angela Merkel personally lobbied Enda Kenny.

The new limits on how much carbon dioxide could be emitted from a car by 2020 had been agreed under the Irish EU presidency earlier this week between EU ministers and the European Parliament.

But the German chancellor led a strong lobbying campaign to delay the change because it would hit the production of luxury vehicles from German car makers such as BMW. She brought up the matter in a phone call with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

EU leaders have decided to defer the decision on introducing the stricter limits. A spokesman for Mr Kenny said the issue was now going into a process and that he had nothing further to add.

TALKS

It will be up to Lithuania, which takes over the EU presidency from Ireland next Monday, to oversee further talks.

The EU had been planning to ensure that any new car produced in 2020 would emit no more than 95 grammes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per km. This would have represented a steep drop on the EU current average of 132 grammes.

Germany, with its heavy production of large, powerful cars, is even higher at 147 grammes of CO2 per km.

It had been a key goal of Environment Minister Phil Hogan. He said yesterday: "It has been difficult to achieve agreement from all EU member states on the level of reductions."

Irish Independent

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