July 25, 2021

European automakers and airlines criticize Brussels climate bills

In its legislative package presented on Wednesday July 14, which is to give shape to the European Green Pact, the European Commission is largely focusing on transport to reduce CO emissions.2 by 55% by 2030, a sector which has not failed to react in the wake of the proposals made.

The Brussels proposal to reduce CO emissions to zero2 of new cars in 2035 amounts to banning heat engines and “Is not a rational solution at this stage”, criticized, Wednesday, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) in a statement. The organization believes that “All options, including highly efficient heat engines, hybrids and hydrogen vehicles must play a role in the transition to climate neutrality”.

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By reducing automobile emissions to zero from 2035, the Commission’s proposal for legislation effectively amounts to banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars, as well as hybrid technologies. Currently, only electric vehicles would be able to meet this requirement. “We ask the EU institutions to focus on innovation rather than making mandatory or de facto banning a specific technology”Oliver Zipse, boss of German automaker BMW and chairman of ACEA, said in the statement.

He also warned about the goal of reducing the CO emissions cap by 55%.2 in 2030, compared to the 95 grams currently authorized. The regulations provide, for the moment, a reduction of 37.5% by this date, already considered very ambitious by the manufacturers. “The current proposal for an even greater reduction in CO emissions2 by 2030 requires a further massive increase in market demand for electric vehicles in a short period of time ”said Mr. Zipse.

“Without a significant increase in the efforts of all stakeholders – including member states and all sectors involved – the proposed target is simply not viable”, he warned. “In addition, the new target of CO2 will dramatically accelerate the structural transformation of the automotive value chain, which will require careful management to minimize the impact on our economy and jobs ”, estimated the builders.

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ACEA welcomed the Commission’s commitment to strongly develop the network of charging stations along European roads. But she said to herself “Very worried that the objectives are far below what is necessary”. Brussels promises 3.5 million charging points accessible to the public in 2030. “Manufacturers are committed to reducing emissions to zero. All ACEA members support the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and invest billions in sustainable and innovative technologies ”, says the organization which brings together the main European manufacturers.

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“Aviation does not need punitive measures”

Critics also, the airlines (IATA) reject the European plan to tax kerosene. The European Commission’s proposal to gradually tax kerosene for flights within the EU is “Counterproductive”, reacted, Wednesday, the International Association of Air Transport IATA.

“Aviation is on the road to” decarbonization “” and don’t need “Punitive measures like taxes” for a change, IATA said in a statement. “To reduce emissions, we need governments to implement a constructive policy framework which, for the time being, focuses on production incentives” for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and “The establishment of the single European sky”, argued its managing director, Willie Walsh.

Other industry lobbies have reacted in a similar fashion, with airlines grouped within the A4E association also calling for the development of electric and hydrogen aircraft.

The Commission proposed, Wednesday, to gradually tax kerosene for intra-European flights, while air fuel has so far benefited from a complete exemption.

This tax, which would save business aviation and freight, would be phased in over ten years, while the minimum target for the use of biofuels in aircraft would be raised and “Allowed to pollute” free services enjoyed by the sector would disappear from 2026, according to this project.

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The World with AFP