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 Washinton Watch

It's Not Washington (Congress is on August Recess), But European Union Warns Auto Makers on Emissions

From The Wall Street Journal

The European Union encouraged auto manufactuers to work harder to meet voluntary emissions standards--or else!

While commending the auto makers for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by 12.4% from 1992 to 2004, the European Commission said that faster reductions were needed to meet the target of a 25% cut by 2008 for European and 2009 for Asian car makers.

Reuctions in auto emissions are critical to the EU's plan to meet the greenhouse gas reduction terms of the Kyoto Protocal. German car makers seem the most vunerable, as they are making the largest, heaviest, and most powerful vehicles. Meanwhile, the German car makers are facing a reduction in demand and are laying off workers. The car makers are asserting that envrionmental requirements cost jobs (ignoring the records of Toyota and Honda).

A spokesman for the EU commissioners said that commission--the executive arm of the European Union--would not hesitate to to impose mandatory emissions cuts on companies if the voluntary codes are deemed inadequate.

Although the car makers have been progress in reducing emissions, Europeans are buying more cars and driving more miles, so overall greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have actually increased.

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