MEPs have proposed setting a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030 of 40%, with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Similar targets have been suggested for new vans.

Manufacturers whose average CO2 emissions exceed these targets will pay a fine to the EU budget, to be used for up-skilling workers affected by changes in the automotive sector. Carmakers will also have to ensure that zero and low emission vehicles have a 35% market share of sales of new cars and vans by 2030, and 20% by 2025.

MEPs have also urged the Commission to put in place new technology to measure vehicle CO2 emissions and provide more information to consumers.

MEP Deirdre Clune said: “We voted to put emission targets and electric vehicle targets in place yesterday. These are ambitious targets but very good for Ireland as we need to tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Transport is the fastest growing in terms of carbon emissions particularly as the economy improves and more people are at work. Ireland is a taker of standards as cars are manufactured outside the country so it is good that ambitious manufacturing standards are put in place as this will help us to achieve our targets.”

It is good to have this focus on transport for the environment and it will help us meet our targets in other areas. Transport is the only major sector in the EU where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising and carmakers must engage with these new targets,” added MEP Clune.

The draft law was adopted with 389 votes to 239 and 41 abstentions. EU ministers will adopt their common position on 9th October. Negotiations with MEPs for a first reading agreement would then start on 10th October.

Transport is the only major sector in the EU where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, say MEPs. In order to meet the commitments made at COP21 in 2015, the decarbonisation of the entire transport sector needs to accelerate, towards zero-emission by mid-century.

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