2/3/2016

EU Parliament Adopts Weakened New Emission Limits

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As expected, the European Parliament has voted in favor of measures that will narrow but not eliminate the gap between vehicle emission levels in lab tests and those measured under real-world conditions.

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As expected, the European Parliament has voted in favor of measures that will narrow but not eliminate the gap between vehicle emission levels in lab tests and those measured under real-world conditions.

Tests commissioned by the EC last year showed that on-the-road emissions of nitrogen oxides from diesel engines can be four times as high as allowed by European standards. The EC's environmental panel proposed narrowing the gap to 60% by 2020 and requiring lab and road test results to match thereafter.

The compromise adopted earlier today allows a 110% gap until 2020 and a 50% discrepancy indefinitely thereafter. Backers says the adopted limits will dramatically reduce the emissions gap without imposing undue hardship on carmakers. Those favoring the tougher standards proposed last October complain the compromise puts auto industry profits ahead of cleaner air.

A proposal to scrap the plan and start over lost by a vote of 317 to 323, with 61 abstentions. Observers said rewriting the rules could delay any change in test procedures for two years.