On Wednesday, September 20th, Coreper (the committee representing EU member states) would discuss another draft text on Euro 7 vehicle pollution standards, presented by the Spanish Presidency.
The vote on the text in the European Council would take place on September 25th.
It is a fact that the European automotive industry has heavily lobbied the European Commission to propose better and stricter emission standards.
This is despite the fact that the European Parliament adopted new, stricter Guidelines on air quality and pollution last week.
“This proposal is a disaster for air pollution in Europe’s cities.The Commission should think whether or not they even want this joke of a regulation to be adopted. By caving into automaker threats, our politicians are condemning people to avoidable ill health and premature death for decades to come,” said Anna Krajinska, Manager, Vehicle Emissions and Air Quality.
“It gives carmakers a license to greenwash polluting Euro 6 cars as ‘clean’ Euro 7 without delivering any added reduction in toxic tailpipe pollution. Cars approved under such a weak proposal should not be labeled as Euro 7. Instead, they should be labeled as Euro 6f to reflect only the minor improvements to emissions monitoring, anti-tampering measures and non-exhaust emissions,” she added.
Compared to the Commission’s draft, in this new proposal by the Spanish Presidency:
- Emission limits for cars have been weakened. No change in emission limits for cars and vans compared to Euro 6, even for diesel which is allowed to emit more NOx pollution than petrol. Cold start limits which are critical for reducing pollution limits in cities have also been scrapped.
- Ammonia (which contributes to deadly PM2.5 particle pollution) for cars have also been scrapped.
- Limits for trucks have been severely weakened with emission limits to reduce pollution in cities (cold start and 3xWHTC limits) scrapped. The limits are weaker than those set in the U.S.
- No improvement in on-road testing conditions for cars compared to Euro 6, meaning that cars will be able to continue to exceed emission limits when driving in cities, in hilly regions and cold and hot weather.
- No improvement in on-road testing for trucks which have been scrapped. Trucks will be able to continue to emit large amounts of pollution in cities.
- Entry into force of particle pollution limits for new car tyres is set at 4 years and for tyres already placed on the market an additional 2.5 years is given. This means that all tyres on the market will not respect the tyre pollution limits until 2030 at the earliest.
- Cars will be able to drive 2000 km while grossly polluting more than 2.5 times the emission limits before the engine is prevented from starting.
Europeans breathe polluted air largely due to emissions from petrol and diesel cars, vans, and trucks.
Furthermore, air pollution in European cities continues to exceed the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In total, around 400,000 premature deaths occur annually in Europe, along with a wide range of severe diseases, including heart disease, lung conditions, and cancer, all caused by air pollution.