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C02 emissions from new passenger cars: monitoring

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The European Union has set up a mechanism to monitor CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in order to check the implementation of the strategy to reduce the CO2 emissions they produce.

ACT

Decision No 1753/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 2000 establishing a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions of carbon dioxide from new passenger cars.

SUMMARY

As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted in New York on 9 May 1992, and in order to combat climate change, the European Community undertook to stabilise its emissions of CO2 at 1990 levels by the year 2000.

The Kyoto Protocol of 10 December 1997 stepped up the Community’s commitments by setting the reduction in emissions of six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, at 8% relative to 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012.

The proportion of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transport is continuing to grow. Moreover, average fuel consumption has scarcely changed since the improvements in the fuel efficiency of new passenger cars in the 1980s. For 2000, average specific emissions of CO2 from the current passenger car fleet are estimated at around 186 grams of CO2 per kilometre (current EC test). Emissions from passenger cars account for around half of all CO2 emissions in the transport sector, and almost 12 % of total CO2 emissions in the Union.

In view of the above, the Community introduced a strategy to reduce emissions of CO2 from new passenger cars, setting a target of 120 g/km to be attained by 2005 (2010 at the latest) [COM(95) 689 final; Council conclusions of 25.6.1996]. In its conclusions the Council stated the need for a scheme to monitor CO2 emissions from passenger cars in order to assess the effectiveness of the CO2 reduction strategy.

Monitoring of CO2 emissions from vehicles

The European Parliament and Council Decision establishing a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions of carbon dioxide from new passenger cars is one element of the Community policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The Decision establishes a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions of CO2 produced on the territory of the Member States by new cars.

The scheme applies to cars registered in the European Union for the first time. The Decision uses the definition of passenger cars contained in Directive 70/156/EEC.

The Member States must:

  • collect the vehicle information needed to set up the monitoring scheme, making use of Community type-approval documentation or the Certificate of Conformity;
  • no later than six months after the Directive’s entry into force, inform the Commission of the body designated to collect and communicate the data.

Each year, the Member States must communicate the following information to the Commission (as indicated in Annex III):

  • for each fuel type: the number of newly registered passenger cars and the average specific emissions of CO2 of those cars;
  • for each fuel type and for each CO2 emission category: the number of newly registered passenger cars and the average specific emissions of CO2;
  • for each fuel type and for each mass category: the number of newly registered passenger cars, the average specific emissions of CO2 and the average mass;
  • for each fuel type and for each power category: the number of newly registered passenger cars, the average specific emissions of CO2 and the average maximum net power;
  • for each fuel type and for each engine capacity category: the number of newly registered passenger cars, the average specific emissions of CO2 and the average engine capacity.

The Member States are responsible for the validity and quality of the data they collect. They must take steps to minimise errors.

The Commission was to report to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2002 at the latest on the operation of the monitoring scheme established by the Decision.

Voluntary agreement of manufacturers

In 1998, the Commission signed the voluntary agreements which manufacturer associations had entered into with it [COM(1998) 495 final]. In 1998 and 1999 commitments were given by associations of automobile manufacturers in Europe (the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers, or ACEA, which represents over 80% of annual registrations in the EU), Japan (the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, or JAMA, which represents over 10% of annual registrations) and Korea (the Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association or KAMA, which represents less than 5% of annual registrations). These associations committed to achieving an emissions objective of 140 grams of CO2/km (this objective is expected to be reached in 2008 by ACEA and 2009 by JAMA and KAMA). The CO2 target must mainly be achieved by technological developments and market changes linked to these developments.

A voluntary commitment by automobile manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions is one of the three pillars of the strategy the EU adopted in 1995 to reduce CO2 emissions, which set 120g/km as the objective to be achieved by 2005 (2010 at the latest). The difference between the 140 g/km voluntary target and the EU’s overall target of 120 g/km is to be achieved by the two other pillars of the strategy: informing customers via labelling about vehicles' emissions of CO2 and encouraging sales of vehicles with low fuel consumption via tax measures.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision No 1753/2000/EC--OJ L 202 of 10.8.2000

RELATED ACTS

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 2007 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles [COM(2007) 856 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission is proposing a CO2 emission limit for manufacturers of automobiles in respect of new cars registered in the European Union in order to achieve the average target of 130 g CO2/km. If this figure is exceeded, the manufacturer concerned will be subject to a financial penalty. Additional measures, yet to be adopted by the EU, should allow a further reduction of 10 g/km, in order to achieve the EU objective of 120 g CO2/km.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 7 February 2007 - Results of the review of the Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles [COM(2007) 19 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission finds that, despite the progress made in working towards the voluntary target of 140 g of CO2/km by 2008-09, the target of 120 g of CO2/km set by the EU will not be met by the 2012 deadline unless additional measures are taken. In order to achieve this target, the Commission proposes mandatory reductions of CO2 emissions to 130 g of CO2/km by means of better engine technologies (to be achieved by the automobile manufacturers) and a further reduction of 10 g of CO2/km through other technological improvements (tyre pressure monitoring systems, more effective air-conditioning systems) and an increased use of biofuels. Furthermore, the Commission intends to promote the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles, particularly by improving vehicle labelling and by introducing legislation which would enable car tax systems in the Member States to take account of CO2 emissions.

Reports on the effectiveness of the strategy

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 August 2006 on implementing the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars: Sixth annual report on the effectiveness of the strategy [COM(2006) 463 final – not published in the Official Journal].
This report concerns 2004. It shows that the three manufacturers’ associations have continued to reduce their CO2 emissions (161 g/km for ACEA, 168 g/km for KAMA and 170 g/km for JAMA). However, the discrepancies identified in relation to the average annual reduction projections for the three associations remain a cause for concern, and the manufacturers will therefore need to increase their efforts if they are to achieve the final objective of 140 g/km CO2 /km. KAMA, for its part, has made considerable progress and has reached the target range of 165-170 g/km set for 2004 (i.e. an improvement of 6.1% for new cars compared with 2003). It has also met all its commitments for the period 1995-2004 as a whole despite the difficult economic times which marked the first few years of the commitment period. KAMA felt that, while it would be technically possible to reach a CO2 emission level of 120 g/km by 2012, this could only be achieved at the cost of imposing an excessive financial burden on itself and on consumers. The objective could be achieved in a more cost-efficient manner through the adoption of an integrated approach involving the other sectors concerned (fuel suppliers, public authorities, etc.).

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 22 June 2005 on implementing the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars: Fifth annual Communication on the effectiveness of the strategy [COM(2005) 269 – Official Journal C 172 of 12 July 2005].
The manufacturers’ associations confirmed their progress regarding CO2 emissions (163 g/km for ACEA, 172 g/km for JAMA and 179 g/km for KAMA). Compared with 2002, in 2003 all three associations reduced their average specific CO2 emissions of their vehicles registered for the first time on the EU market. Despite the delay and the risk that it will not meet its interim target, KAMA has reiterated its commitment to achieving the target, and its progress is encouraging. Since 2000, ACEA and JAMA have both met their interim targets for 2003 (set between 165 and 170 g/km). Further effort is needed to reach the final target of 140 g CO2/km as the annual rate of reduction is insufficient. The three associations increased the proportion of their range of vehicles with diesel engines during the reference period. In addition, ACEA and JAMA have indicated that while it would be technically possible to reach a CO2 emission level of 120 g/km by 2012 (i.e. the target set by the Community strategy), the cost would be prohibitive. They consider that a more effective way in economic terms of achieving this target would be to involve car manufacturers and other interested parties, such as the public authorities, petrol and diesel suppliers, the agricultural sector, clients, etc. All the Member States have implemented Directive 1999/94/EC, but it has not proved to be very effective.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 11 February 2004 on implementing the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars: Fourth annual report on the effectiveness of the strategy (Reporting year 2002) [COM(2004) 78 final – Official Journal C 98 of 23.4.2004].
In its annual report for 2002 the Commission used data provided by Member States for the first time. Before this the data was provided by the associations of automobile manufacturers themselves. The car industry has made progress with regard to its commitments. In 2000 ACEA achieved its interim target for 2003, and in 2002 is right at the bottom of this range (166 g CO2/km). JAMA entered the target range in 2002 (174 g CO2/km). KAMA’s results remain unsatisfactory. Although it has caught up slightly in recent years, there is a real risk that KAMA will not reach its 2004 interim target. The 1999 Directive relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions in respect of the marketing of new passenger cars has been transposed by all Member States except Germany. In addition, the Commission has published a proposal for a tax on passenger cars, in which, inter alia, it recommends basing car tax (registration and annual road tax) on CO2 emissions (COM(2002) 421).

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 9 December 2002 on implementing the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars: Third annual report on the effectiveness of the strategy (Reporting year 2001) [COM(2006) 693 final – not published in the Official Journal].
This report responds to the specific requirement of Decision No 1753/2000 by covering the entire period from 1995 to 2001. The emission level of CO2/km recorded for the 2001 calendar year is between 167 and 170 g CO2/km, compared with 186 g CO2/km in 1995, the reference year for the strategy. ACEA has made good progress and the results obtained by JAMA are satisfactory. However, KAMA has made insufficient progress. Further efforts, particularly from KAMA, are needed to reach the final objective of 140 g/km, because the average annual rate of reduction is insufficient for all three associations. Despite some uncertainties and the lack of information from some Member States, the data delivered by the associations correspond quite well to the data provided by the Member States.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 8 November 2001 on implementing the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars - Second annual report on the effectiveness of the strategy (Reporting year 2000) [COM(2001) 643 final – not published in the Official Journal].
The report covers the period from 1995 to 2000. It notes that, in general, the implementation of the Community' s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and improve fuel economy is making good progress. It is imperative, moreover, that Member States accelerate the implementation of Directive 1999/94/EC and Decision No 1753/2000/EC in order to avoid negative repercussions on the implementation of the strategy and its monitoring.

Communication from the Commission of 4 October 2000 on implementing the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars: First annual report on the effectiveness of the strategy [COM(2000) 615 final – not published in the Official Journal].
This first report considers the situation regarding commitments by companies in the automobile industry. It notes that between 1995 and 1999 all the vehicle manufacturer associations reduced the average specific emissions of their vehicles. The improvements in fuel consumption are most noticeable for diesel cars. ACEA and JAMA have made good progress, whereas KAMA is lagging behind. All three associations must make additional efforts in order to meet the final target of 140 g CO2/km.

Last updated: 25.04.2008
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