Background: reducing CO2 emissions from cars and vans

Brussels, 17 June 2015 – Ahead of tomorrow’s European Commission ‘Driving Road Decarbonisation Forward’ conference, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) calls for a comprehensive approach to future CO2 emissions reduction.

The automobile industry remains committed to contributing its fair share towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions, namely through fuel-efficiency technologies (eg variable valve timing, turbocharging, stop-start systems and direct injection technology) and continued investment into alternative powertrains. Even when faced with flat or declining sales, the automobile industry has delivered huge environmental improvements, and will continue to do so.

Yet despite the impressive CO2 reductions for new vehicles, progress in reducing overall road transport emissions has not followed the same pace.

“With the Commission consultation on road transport emissions kicking off, and ahead of the COP21 conference in Paris, we have reached a pivotal moment in terms of road transport emissions policy,” stated ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert.

“We believe that we have an historic opportunity to develop a policy framework that will allow us to drive down road transport emissions whilst protecting jobs and growth. However, we need to recognise that there is no magic bullet or single solution. Rather, we need to adopt a comprehensive approach to tackling road transport emissions which draws on the full spectrum of solutions.”

This means not just focusing on continued emissions reduction from new vehicles, but also factoring in the elements that influence overall emissions from vehicles in use. These factors include the carbon content of fuels, driver behaviour, infrastructure and the potential of intelligent transport systems (ITS).

To this end, ACEA is now working in partnership with over 50 relevant stakeholders – including businesses, trade associations, non-profit organisations, research bodies and think tanks – to examine the full potential of this approach for both light and heavy-duty vehicles.

Policy makers should also focus on the most cost-effective measures, so as not to jeopardise the competitiveness of the European automobile industry.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler and member of the ACEA Board of Directors, will be representing ACEA at the conference tomorrow, alongside Commissioner Cañete, representatives of the European Parliament, European Council and an environmental NGO.

Notes for editors

A backgrounder on ‘Reducing CO2 emissions from cars and vans’ can be found here:

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