Germany will not call for stricter EU car emission limits – media reports
Handelsblatt / Reuters / Spiegel
The German government has settled its dispute over future CO2 rules for cars and will not call for more stringent EU fleet emission limits than currently proposed by the European Commission, according to media reports. The Green-led environment ministry had to give up on its demand for more climate ambition following a decision by Social Democrat chancellor Olaf Scholz, who backed Free Democrat transport minister Volker Wissing on the issue, report business daily Handelsblatt, Reuters and Spiegel. Environmentalists decried the decision, arguing that the existing European Commission proposal would not reduce car emissions fast enough. "For a self-proclaimed climate chancellor, Olaf Scholz's decision against ambitious fleet limits in the EU is a confession of failure," said Greenpeace transport expert Tobias Austrup.
"We have agreed on what it says in the coalition treaty – nothing more and nothing less," government sources told Handelsblatt. The agreement between SPD, Greens and FDP says the government will support the plans by the EU Commission, which proposed to lower new car emissions by 55 percent versus 2021 levels, and that only zero-emission can be registered from 2035. Green environment minister Steffi Lemke had pushed for Germany to tell the EU in its pending position on the Commission's plans that "more ambition is needed before 2030”, and to call for new interim targets.
With its Fit for 55 package of energy and climate legislation, the European Commission has laid the groundwork to overhaul the EU's laws to put the bloc on path to reaching 2030 climate targets. CO₂ emission performance standards for cars and vans is one of the elements of the package, but still need to be debated among member state governments in the EU Council, and in the European Parliament. Key lawmakers in the European Parliament have also proposed tougher and intermediate targets. The debate among German ministries led to warnings that the German government would not be able to participate in the next round of negotiations in early March with a unified position.