Merkel calls EU car emission deal “defensible”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed a hard-fought EU environment minister compromise deal for a 35 percent cut in new car emissions by 2030, reports news agency Reuters. “(There is) a revisions clause for 2021, since the question of how fast we can cut carbon dioxide emissions depends on the extent of market penetration by electric cars or other cars with alternative propulsion systems,” she said at a news conference. “Under these circumstances I think the agreement is wholly defensible.” German auto industry lobby group VDA criticised the agreement. “It’s very regrettable that a majority of EU member states didn’t find it in themselves to strike a balance between climate protection and preserving jobs,” said VDA head Bernhard Mattes. German car giant Volkswagen said that the planned environmental regulations could result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, writes Reuters.
German economy minister Peter Altmaier told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that the agreement was “acceptable”, but he would have wished for a compromise “a little closer to what's possible, to reality”. “It’s not like you can simply turn off CO₂ emissions like a light switch. The question is what is technologically possible and what is possible in competition.”
For background, read the CLEW news item EU governments agree to cut car emissions faster than proposed by Germany.