Transport, environment and consumer groups reacted immediately, almost in unison, calling the package “an ineffective regulation” that ‘s “trundling along” and “not going far enough”. But the Commission said it was a “balanced package that allows everyone to contribute… based on sound analysis and broad stakeholder involvement”.
The rationale, in the words of Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, was the need to fight climate change, as transport generates a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution was responsible for 400,000 premature deaths in Europe every year.
The long-term competitiveness of Europe’s car industry also came into play and should be improved by stimulating the manufacturing and purchase of clean vehicles, the spread of charging infrastructure across Europe and the work on developing advanced car batteries.
Under the proposal, the average emissions for new cars in 2030 will have to be 30% lower than the 2021 target of 95 g of CO2 per km. Transport and Environment NGO had called for a reduction of 40%, while Green MEP Bas Eickhout said the Greens wanted to see a 60% decrease from the 2021 level.