German Carmakers Say New CO2 Emission Rules Will Cut Jobs

October 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The European Union’s proposal to cut allowable carbon dioxide emissions from cars 35% by 2030 will cost the country’s auto industry tens of thousands of jobs, asserts industry group VDA.

The EU’s environmental ministers approved the 35% goal on Oct. 9. The measure won’t go into effect until it is approved by the European Parliament and then each member nation.

EU regulations currently allow average CO2 emission of 130 g/km, dropping 27% to 95 g/km in 2021. VDA asserts that continuing to a 35% reduction over the following nine years fails to strike an economic and technological balance between protecting jobs and protecting the environment.

Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess warns that the proposed target could trigger massive layoffs. He says a 40% cut in CO2 by 2030 would eliminate about 25% of the industry’s 400,000 factory jobs. The proposed 35% reduction “doesn’t look much better,” he warns the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel describes the EU plan as “wholly defensible.” One big reason: The measure allows a review of the target in 2021 if sales of zero-emission vehicles by then are weaker than necessary to drive down emission averages.