Members of the European Parliament must decide how to proceed after rejecting on Tuesday (5 November) a compromise proposal from the Lithuanian Presidency for a new deal on limiting car CO2 emissions.
Germany is blocking ratification of a previous deal reached in June between MEPs and the Irish government, which at the time held the rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Germany wants a four-year delay to the new 95grams CO2 per kilometre (g/km) limit that was supposed to come into effect in 2020.
In a meeting with MEPs on Tuesday, Lithuania, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of Ministers, proposed delaying the limit from 2020 to 2023 and the introduction of a limit of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre averaged across the carmaker’s fleet. It would also expand the ‘supercredit’ scheme, which eases the target by allowing electric vehicles to count more towards the average emissions of a fleet. Under the compromise, the period of supercredits would be extended from three to four years and companies could ‘bank’ the credits for use in later years.
But Matthias Groote, chairman of the Parliament’s environment committee told the Lithuanians that a majority in Parliament was opposed to a phase-in, according to sources at the meeting.
However the MEPs said they are willing to negotiate and change the deal agreed in June. The MEPs indicated they could be more flexible with the supercredits issue. The presidency said some kind of phase-in would be necessary, but the specifics as to the number of years could be negotiated.
Next Tuesday (12 November) the MEPs from the different groups who are responsible for the file will meet to decide on the next steps. They will draft a counter proposal to offer to the Lithuanian presidency.
The MEPs are most likely to offer changes to the supercredit regime, or to lowering the penalties for non-compliance. But an offer that only changes the supercredits regime would meet fierce resistance from Italy and France, which specialise in smaller, lighter cars and would therefore not benefit as much as the German auto industry.
At this weeks’ meeting the European Commission presented its calculation of the impact that the Lithuanian proposal would have on emissions and fuel costs. The proposal would result in an additional 90-150 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and would lead to additional fuel costs for consumers of between €52 and €90 billion, the Commission said.