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  A summary paper on air pollution and the latest
 developments  concerning unleaded petrol and motor vehicle
 exhausts has  been forwarded officially to the Commission.
 The latter has  issued guidelines for future negotiations so
 that, in  accordance with the European Council's request,
 decisions  can be reached at the Environment Council on 7
 (a) Lead in petrol
     Although it regards the deadline proposed by Parliament
 for the compulsory introduction of unleaded petrol -
 1 October 1986 - as unrealistic, it might be prepared to
 bring forward slightly the proposed date of 1 October
 1989, provided that this is compatible with the
 deadlines laid down for the reduction of emissions.
 (b) Emissions
     Whilst agreeing that urgent action is essential in order
 to protect the environment and preserve the unity of the
 Community's internal market for motor vehicles, the
 Commission takes the view that, given the time needed by
 the automobile industry to adjust, the deadline which
 Parliament has proposed for reaching emission standards
 equivalent to those in the USA - 1 October 1986 - cannot
 be met. Such a deadline, moreover, would probably mean
 excluding any technology that was cheaper than catalytic
 converters an might be applied subsequently.
     As regards the exemptions to be granted by the
 Commission in cases of technical or economic difficulty,
 the Commission fears that too many exemptions could
 nullify the environmental advantages of such a proposal
 and could adversely affect the unity of the internal
 market and create uncertainty in industry.
     The Commission's position as regards the future
 negotiations is as follows therefore:
                             - 2 -
 -   It cannot accept that the new emission standards should
 be made compulsory by October 1986 but it is prepared to
 change its original proposals in order to speed up their
 -   It is ready to contemplate an approach based on a
 sliding scale according to engine capacity.
 (a) See P-40 (May 1984) for the Commission's orginial
 proposal on abolishing leaded petrol and reducing
 vehicle emissions.
 (b) The Council held a thorough discussion of both matters
 on 6 December last and Parliament delivered its Opinion
 on 12 December. Although the Council has made
 substantial progress as regards the reduction of lead in
 petrol by generally following the Commission's proposals
 (compulsory sale of unleaded petrol from 1 October
 1989), the Member States' positions on the reduction of
 emissions from motor vehicles remain relatively
     The high-level working party set up by the Council to
 prepare fresh negotiations on this subject is to submet
 its report by the end of January.
 (c) In its resolution of 12 December 1984, Parliament
 proposed that Community emission standards equivalent to
 those obtaining in the USA should be made compulsory
 from 1 October 1986, though an exemption was to be
 granted by the Commission in cases where this was
 precluded by technical or economic difficulties. As
 regards lead in petrol, Parliament also proposed, in its
 Opinion, that the date by which Member States must make
 unleaded petrol available should be brought forward to
 1 October 1986.
 (d) Finally, the European Council in Dublin asked the
 Environment Ministers "to make every effort to reach
 agreement on the guidelines for a Community policy on
the reduction of lead in petrol and vehicle emissions".

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