The car and oil industry will face impossible demands if amendments carried last week by the European Parliament to the latest European Union proposals for reducing car emissions become law.
Among the series of amendments was a call for a mandatory fuel economy target for all cars of 3litres/100km (93mpg) by 2010.
There is a limit of six weeks for the UK, as EU president, to broker an agreement between the parliament and Council of Ministers.
Last week EU commissioners warned that because the Council of Minister’s common position had had to be agreed unanimously, there would be little scope for compromise.
The parliament last week slammed the Auto/Oil programme which brought together the commission and the car and petroleum industries to develop the proposals as having ‘absolutely no transparency and no participation by social groupings, political decision-makers or relevant non-governmental organisations’. It also cast doubts on the validity of the cost/benefit analysis which was carried out under the programme.
Other amendments called on the commission to instigate:
* stricter limits on carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions to be binding rather than ‘indicative’ from 2005
* a directive to improve fuel quality to come into force in 2005
* tax incentives for vehicles meeting the limits in advance, and for fuel additives designed to increase efficiency and cleanliness of vehicle engines
* a research project on emission control in the 21st century whose findings would be incorporated in proposals for legislation after 2005
* a proposal, by the end of this year, for a directive making the 5 litre/100km average petrol car mandatory from 2005 and the 3litre/100km average petrol and diesel car mandatory from 2010.