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EU car emission limits opposed by 8 countries — enough to block


May 22, 2023
EU car emission limits opposed by 8 countries — enough to block

BRUSSELS — France, Italy and the Czech Republic are among eight countries pushing to weaken new EU emissions limits for cars, saying they are overly ambitious and unrealistic for automakers to hit.

European Union countries and lawmakers are preparing to negotiate the Euro 7 regulation, which from 2025 would tighten vehicle emission limits for pollutants including nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.

In a joint paper, sent to other EU members and seen by Reuters, the eight countries said parts of the law, including curbs on exhaust pipe emissions, should be scrapped entirely.

“We oppose any new exhaust emission rules (including new testing requirements or new emission limits) for cars and vans,” said in the paper, which was signed by France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

The countries said these limits would force carmakers to invest in improving exhaust emissions performance, money which would be better spent on developing zero-emission vehicles.

Taken together, the countries would have enough votes to block the proposal.

The European Commission says the rules – which apply only to new vehicles, not those already on the roads – are needed to cut health-damaging emissions and prevent a repeat of so-called Dieselgate scandal, where companies cheated the rules.

The law would also toughen emissions testing, requiring carmakers to use on-board pollution monitoring systems.

Countries including Italy and the Czech Republic are home to large automotive industries, and the governments’ stance aligns with some carmakers’ criticisms of Euro 7.

Czech carmaker Skoda has warned of 3,000 job losses if the proposal went ahead, while Stellantis (STLAM.MI) CEO Carlos Tavares has labeled parts of Euro 7 as “useless”.

The law would also curb pollution from brakes and tires for the first time.

The eight states sought other changes including later deadlines for when the rules kick in.

The EU has already agreed that by 2035, all new cars sold in the bloc must have zero CO2 emissions. That law was eventually approved this year after pushback from countries including Germany, which won an exemption for cars running on e-fuels. 

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