Cars, vans focus of EU plan for tougher emission caps


European Union regulators are drawing up stricter curbs on carbon dioxide from cars and vans in a bid to counter transport’s contribution to climate change, according to an EU document.

The European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, is doing the groundwork for vehicle CO2 caps that would follow on from a 2021 limit set for cars and a 2020 ceiling fixed for vans, according to the draft of a confidential strategy paper due to be released on Wednesday in Brussels. Actual draft legislation, which may come next year, would need the support of EU governments and the European Parliament.

“The commission is working on post-2020 standards for cars and vans, assessing the costs and benefits, competitiveness impacts and developments across the EU and globally,” the draft paper says. “The overall timetable for the post-2020 framework, in particular the setting of an intermediate target before 2030, will also be assessed.”

As part of a 2030 target to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels, the EU plans tighter caps on polluters in Europe’s emissions-trading system and tougher rules for industries including ground transport that are outside the ETS. The commission has a policy of not commenting on draft papers.

The EU has a separate goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent in 2020 compared with 1990. As part of that plan, the bloc approved laws capping average CO2 emissions by cars at 130 grams a kilometer in 2015 and 95 grams in 2021 and limiting average CO2 discharges by light commercial vehicles to 175 grams a kilometer in 2017 and 147 grams as of 2020.