Merkel asks EU to not impose tough CO2 targets on German automakers

Article by Anita Panait, on September 16, 2013

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has warned the European Union against imposing difficult environmental targets on German luxury carmakers. During a visit to the Frankfurt motor show on September 12, 2013, Merkel said the environmental measures could harm innovation and economic growth. Merkel, who is facing elections in less than two weeks, blocked an agreement in June 2013 that would have set an EU carbon dioxide emission target of 95 grams per kilometer by 2020 from 132.4g/km in 2012.

Merkel remarked during the Frankfurt show that "Europe must learn that we are not an isolated continent but that we must succeed in global competition." She remarked that there is a need to look beyond borders -- push for open and free trade, while not imposing “greater burdens” on Europe’s auto industry than “other continents do with their own industry.”

Matthias Wissmann, head of Germany's VDA auto industry association that includes luxury brands BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, slammed EU officials for making regulation’s much stricter. He said that “while lawyers and bureaucrats have to listen to the engineers with their technical know-how, the auto industry “will not make a good political pawn to be tossed between officials' desks in Brussels.”

On the other hand, a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said that the real threat to global economic growth is the continued delays in tackling climate change. The new German scientific study said that if the stalemate on international climate policy continued until 2030, it could reduce up to 7 percent off global growth within the first decade after the policies took effect.

The Institute attributed this to the fact that cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would have to be deeper and more costly in due course to keep rising global temperatures below an agreed U.N. ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial figures.

Topics: europe

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