Press Advisories

19. 5. 2007 14:52

If Car Manufacturers Fail To Reduce Emissions, the Czech Republic is to Tighten Up Limits

The Czech Republic will agree with the reduction of the emission limit in cars to 120 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre, unless the car-manufacturing factories meet the voluntary agreement on reducing emissions they have concluded with the European Commission.

According to the Environment Ministry this is the position the Czech negotiators are taking to Monday’s Ministerial Council meeting on competitiveness. According to Vice Premier (and Environment Minister) Martin Bursík this particular standpoint tallies with the Ministry’s objective.

Pursuant to their voluntary agreement, the car manufacturers are to reduce emissions to 140 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre by the end of next year. True to say, the Czech Republic proceeds from the position that the car manufacturers are still bent on complying with the voluntary agreement with the EU, but at the same time the country pledges to agree with the proposal to reduce the limit to 120 g of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2012, if the car manufacturers fail to meet the agreement. Bursík has submitted to the Government a proposal for giving a firm commitment, while Industry and Trade Minister Martin Øíman suggested waiting for a review of the voluntary agreement between the car-making factories and the European Commission.

In an interview with ÈTK, Bursík said that this particular agreement is being implemented only by three out of twenty car manufacturers, while half of them meet the agreement by less than 50 % anyway. That is also why the Commission has decided to submit a relevant directive. In Bursík´s opinion, it is unrealistic to wait.

Brussels wants the average emissions from new cars sold in the EU to drop to the level of 120 g by 2012. Improved technologies in cars will have to reduce average emissions at least to 130 g, with additional measures accounting for another reduction by 10 grams. These additional measures include both improved efficiency of those parts of cars with the greatest impact on fuel consumption, namely tyres and air conditioning systems, and gradual reduction of carbon content in fuels, especially by a more intensive use of biofuels. Special requirements for efficiency will be imposed on those parts.

The Czech position comes complete with the assumption that the limit of 120 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre shall not be imposed on all the cars across-the-board, but that the existing different model structure of the individual car manufacturers will be taken into consideration. The state is also awaiting the results of an impact study it has commissioned.

The European Commission says that the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions down to 120 g may result in a rise of the prices of sold cars. In the opinion of the Environment Ministry this would be offset by the fact that the cars will be more fuel-efficient, and people will therefore save for their cheaper operation. “Seen in this light, it should be emphasized that carbon dioxide emissions from cars dropped by more that 12 % between 1995 and 2004, while the prices of cars rose by less than inflation. Nowadays there are fuel-efficient cars whose limit is below 120 g, while greenhouse emissions are also reduced by replacing crude oil-based fuels by biofuels or natural gas,“ says the Environment Ministry.

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