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Commission adopts package to reduce road traffic emissions

The European Commission has adopted a package of measures designed to reduce emissions from road traffic by 60 to 70% from today's levels by the year 2010. The package, which sets rigorous air quality standards, is the result of three years of collaboration between the oil and...
The European Commission has adopted a package of measures designed to reduce emissions from road traffic by 60 to 70% from today's levels by the year 2010. The package, which sets rigorous air quality standards, is the result of three years of collaboration between the oil and automobile industries, known as the Auto Oil programme.

The emission reduction targets set by the Commission are as follows:

- Urban carbon monoxide: 70%
- Nitrogen oxides: 65%
- Volatile organic compounds: 70%
- Urban particulate matter: 70%

The Commission estimates the total cost of legislative measures needed to meet these targets will be ECU 5.5 billion. This covers legislative measures which are to be introduced by 2000. Two of the proposed measures were adopted by the Commission at the time the package was adopted.

Firstly, the fuel quality Directive proposal would introduce harmonized limit values for various unleaded petrol and diesel fuel parameters. The Commission also foresees the phasing out of leaded petrol by the year 2000.

The second Directive, on vehicle emissions, would introduce a reduction in emission limits of between 20 and 40% of current levels. These new limits would apply to new types of vehicle from 2000, and for all new vehicles from 2001. A second stage of reductions would be introduced from 2005.

The Commission intends to introduce further legislative proposals in 1997 under the package.
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