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Commission Communication on the reduction of CO2 emissions from cars

The European Commission has published a communication to the Council and European Parliament on a Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and improve fuel economy (COM(95)689 final).

In the context of worldwide efforts to combat climate change, and as a...
The European Commission has published a communication to the Council and European Parliament on a Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and improve fuel economy (COM(95)689 final).

In the context of worldwide efforts to combat climate change, and as a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded in 1992, the Community committed itself to stabilizing CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. Against this background, developments in CO2 emissions from transport are a special cause for concern with emissions from cars expected to increase by 20% by the year 2000 (from 1990 levels). In this context, the Commission views with concern the lack of progress in improving fuel efficiency of cars in recent years.

The Commission proposes that CO2 emissions from road transport can only be reduced by a package of measures aimed, on the one hand, at reducing the use of motor vehicles and, on the other hand, at achieving a higher vehicle fuel efficiency through a combination of technical and non-technical measures.

More specifically, the Commission proposes that a Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions should be based on the following elements:

- An agreement between the Community and the automobile industry, involving clear objectives and provisions for monitoring;
- A future Community initiative on vehicle taxation, incorporating the promotion of fuel efficiency of passenger cars;
- A complementary measure regarding fuel-economy labelling;
- An ambitious RTD effort to improve motor vehicle performance, in line with the action plan of the "Car of Tomorrow" Task Force, and to promote attractive alternatives to road transport, as aimed at by the Task Forces on "Intermodality", and "Trains and Railway Systems of the Future".

The purpose of the Commission communication is to prepare the way for discussions in the Council and the European Parliament on the strategy to be adopted. With this in mind, the communication sets out the costs and benefits of a significant improvement in the fuel efficiency of passenger cars and analyzes different policy instruments available to achieve this improvement.
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