Friday, November 21, 2008

UK, France, Germany, Italy agree on CO2 limits

Italy has reportedly dropped its objections to a European Commission plan to introduce softer CO2 emission limits on new cars, leaving the door open for an EU-wide agreement on a 130g/km fleet wide CO2 limit.

While still not official, inside government sources in Germany told Reuters that an agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had been made. The proposal now has to be approved by the European Parliament, with talks between parliament, member states and the European Commission scheduled to take place on November 24.

The European Commission had proposed cutting CO2 emissions from cars by an average of 18% to 130g/km by 2012, but the plan was rejected by some member nations such as Germany, which claimed that its luxury-based industry will still have a harder time meeting the targets than the smaller-car producing French and Italian industries.

More lenient standards were contrary to the central thesis of the EU's new emissions laws, according to Italy's government. Environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo spoke out recently on the issue, calling the proposal unacceptable because it disadvantages carmakers that have already taken steps to build more efficient cars.

Italy, though home to some of the world's most renowned supercars, is also home to some of the world's favorite minicars, including the Fiat 500.

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