German environment minister drops call for more ambitious EU car CO₂ limits
German environment minister Svenja Schulze has backed away from her call for more ambitious new EU targets for passenger car CO₂ emissions reduction to enable a joint German government position, said a ministry spokesperson at a press conference. After a talk with economy minister Peter Altmaier, the environment minister had to “recognise that the economy ministry is not prepared to go further than the [European] Commission proposal” to reduce car emissions by 30 percent by 2030, and by 15 percent by 2025, compared to 2021 levels, said the spokesperson. An agreement between the relevant German ministries is necessary to formulate a German position in EU negotiations on the topic. “We are now faced with the choice: do we block a German position in Brussels or do we not?” Blocking would entail major risks with a view to the end of the EU legislative period next year and might mean there would be no new agreement at all on CO₂ limits, said the spokesperson. “That would be the worst option for the environment.” Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Altmaier had voiced support for the Commission’s proposal at an event hosted by the industry association BDI. According to newspaper reports, there is mounting evidence that the German government will oppose stricter car fleet emission limits at EU level in exchange for carmakers’ consent to cover the hardware retrofitting costs in certain types of diesel vehicles.
Read a Reuters article on the topic in English here.
Find background in the news item Merkel opposes more ambitious EU car fleet emissions targets and the articles Germany launches task force to kickstart shift to sustainable mobility and German environment ministry pushes for tougher EU car emission rules.