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EU countries vote to weaken next car emissions norm

After auto manufacturers complaints

25 September, 20:30

(ANSA-AFP) - BRUSSELS, SEP 25 - EU member countries on Monday adopted a watered-down deal on curbing car emissions, after auto manufacturers complained stricter measures could undermine electric vehicle investments. Led by France and Italy, the 27 nations voted for a less ambitious plan than the one put forward by the European Commission in November 2022, eyeing preservation of competitivity in an EU sector on which 14 million workers rely. The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), the sector's main EU lobby group, cautiously welcomed the decision for the next iteration of car emissions rules in the EU, known as the Euro 7 standard. But groups calling for cleaner transport rules called it a disappointment. It was "a missed opportunity," said the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst, while the European Federation for Transport and Environment called it a "greenwash".
    The European Commission had sought to have Euro 7 significantly cut nitrogen oxide and fine particle emissions from vehicles, noting that air pollution is responsible for 70,000 deaths annually in the European Union. But automakers baulked, fearing the added costs of bringing combustion engine vehicles into line at a time when they are spending billions on electric car manufacturing in the face of fierce competition from Tesla and Chinese companies. Their pressure to have the EU lift its foot off ever tighter standards was heard by France and Italy, which earlier this year jointly opposed strict emission norms. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia also signed on to that position. (ANSA-AFP).

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