Brussels - The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a 30-per-cent reduction to Carbon emissions from cars and vans by 2030, compared to 2021 levels, with an intermediary target of 15 per cent by 2025.
Proposal to reduce emissions
The commission said it was proposing the benchmarks to make sure that the European Union meets its emissions reduction targets under the Paris climate deal and that the European car industry can remain competitive in the rush to produce clean cars.
"Europe is currently not on the right track," said European Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete. "To drive and lead the global shift to electric, Europe has to get its house in order."
Re-confidence in the European car market
He said the proposal aims to amend current trends in the European car industry, including the low number of electric cars sold on the continent and the fact that jobs in the electronic car industry flow to other parts of the world, such as the US.
The commissioner said that the targets would also help restore trust in European car makers after they were engulfed in the emissions-testing scandal.
"Our proposal does not include any technology specific quotas or mandates," Arias Canete said. The proposal lets carmakers "decide which technologies to apply in order to meet their specific emissions targets."
The plan would also tighten controls and penalties over car emissions.
If a manufacturer exceeds its annual targets, it would have to pay a fine of 95 euros (110 dollars) for every gram of carbon emission above the limit for each new car registered that given year.
Confirmation from the European Parliament
The proposal still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and EU member states.
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) welcomed the commission's proposal to set a target for 2030, however, it warned that the 30-per-cent reduction might be "overly challenging."
"The European auto industry considers a 20-per-cent reduction by 2030 for cars to be achievable at a high, but acceptable, cost," the organization said.
ACEA also noted that setting an intermediary target for 2025 might be too early because it "does not leave enough time to make the necessary technical and design changes to vehicles."