Carmakers’ bid to delay the EU Commission’s deadline for dropped CO2 emissions has been rejected by EU lawmakers.
They now face tough new targets for cutting carbon emissions after MEPs rejected industry pleas for more time to produce greener cars.
Manufacturers had said the goal for a 17 per cent cut in car emissions by 2012 was too stringent and threatened billions of euros of export earnings as well as thousands of jobs.
That target now looks highly likely, although the proposals are yet to be formally approved.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said it was disappointed by the outcome of the vote.
“The MEPs missed the opportunity to help shape a realistic framework for the car industry enabling manufacturers to continue contributing to the CO2 reduction objectives of the EU to the best of their ability and with all the innovative might they possess,” said Ivan Hodac, secretary general of ACEA.
“The European car industry calls on legislators to refrain from threatening the future of car production in Europe. The Environment Committee has given a wrong signal.
“This is bad news for Europe, especially with the overall economic circumstances deteriorating already.”
ACEA pointed out its members collectively provide direct employment to more than 2.3 million people and support another 10 million jobs in related sectors.