Good news: European Parliament environment committee directs car CO2 emission targets into the right lane

PRESS STATEMENT - 10.09.2018

Today, the European Parliament’s environment committee voted for car CO2 emission targets that will spur major fuel savings for consumers and help roll out clean cars. If confirmed by Parliament’s plenary and EU Member States, this is a huge boost for greener and cheaper driving.


Parliament had been tasked to review a proposal on CO2 targets by the European Commission, a proposal by consumer groups. The Parliament has shifted the proposal’s ambition up many gears to the benefit of consumers. 

In a nutshell, environment committee MEPs:

  • Agreed to CO2 emission reductions of 20% by 2025 (Commission proposal: 15%) and 45% by 2030 (Commission proposal: 30%). Such reductions will help to materialise the forecasted of electric cars – making them match the running cost of a petrol car by the middle of the 2020s. The more stringent the targets, the more zero-emission cars manufacturers will have to put on the market to reduce their average emissions. These targets also allow people buying a petrol/diesel car in 2025 to save between €4,400 and €9,400 in fuel over a car’s lifetime when compared to 2015.
  • Urge the creation of an official test to measure CO2 emissions in the real-world to apply from 2023. Today most cars achieve CO2 targets – and thus, fuel consumption figures – only in the laboratory. In 2017, this laboratory/real-world translated, on average, to an additional €400 in fuel costs per year versus what a consumer would expect on basis of the information when buying the car. An official test ought to close this gap.
  • Introducing a real bonus/penalty scheme for low and zero-emission cars. Currently, consumers in switching to these cars. Sales practices, among other things, undermine their real-world availability. In addition to rewarding car makers that place enough of these cars on the market, Parliament now also proposes to penalise those that do not (in the form of stronger overall CO2 reduction targets).

Monique Goyens, BEUC Director-General, commented:

“Research has shown that swift and ambitious EU action is needed to tackle the lack of consumer choice when it comes to cleaner cars. If the Parliament’s plenary confirms today’s vote, we will be at the cusp of finally developing a European car policy that benefits the environment, public health and our wallets.”

“With this push from Parliament, we expect the EU to opt for a robust, long-term car policy that both cuts emissions as well as the cost of driving. Following a summer of major environmental hazards, triggered by climate change, it should be clear to everyone that rigorous action cannot wait any second longer.”