With “Euro 7” standards, Brussels is eyeing car manufacturers

To force car manufacturers to constantly produce “cleaner” cars, the European Commission said on Thursday, November 10, that pollutants harmful to human health (nitrogen dioxide, NO2, for example) should be distinguished from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are themselves responsible for global warming.

Protect the industry

For this, a regulation proposal from the European Commission is expected. This text will then have to be discussed by both legislators, that is, the European Parliament and the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU). At the end of the negotiations, these “Euro 7” emission standards will replace the existing “Euro 6” standards.

But the European executive does not seem to have any intention of seriously reconsidering the Old Continent’s ambitions in terms of combating polluting emissions – to blame for the disastrous economic situation and the energy crisis, which has increased the costs of all production.

Moreover, the introduction of this regulatory proposal comes at a time when the EU has agreed to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines after 2035, which looks like a major turnaround for car manufacturers. With the “Euro 7” standards, the European Commission, on the contrary, creates the impression that it wants to spare the industry.

No previous contaminants

Draft versions of the Commission’s regulatory proposal are available in Brussels, as well as 34 pages of annexes filled with tables detailing future maximum limits the agency proposes to allow by vehicle category and pollutant. . But according to the latest version, the limit values ​​for passenger cars (category M1 in Brussels jargon) and for light commercial vehicles (N1) should remain the same as the “Euro 6” standards (twelve are defined). years ago…

On the other hand, the “Euro 7” standards must take into account more pollutants than before: ammonia (NH3) should be added to this list in particular. Permissible emission limits for trucks should be slightly lower than in the past. “We’ll have to see exactly what the European Commission puts on the table, but I will oppose watered-down ‘Euro 7’ standards to satisfy the car industry,” Green MEP Karima Delli, who chairs the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament (TRAN), warns that this is necessary. “These new standards are ambitious to save lives.”

The elected official recalls that air pollution causes more than 300,000 premature deaths every year, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA, in Copenhagen, Denmark). Experts working for the latter also estimate that transport is responsible for about two-thirds of NOx emissions and about 10% of emissions of other pollutants.

By 2035, 100 million cars will be registered

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), for its part, is trying to dissuade the European Commission from taking action to limit air pollution caused by the automotive sector. A “fact sheet” published by this powerful lobby (located in the same circle as the European Commission in Brussels, at the heart of the European region) insists that It will take several years to feel the impact of Euro 7 standards. and by then “zero emission” vehicles will be legion“According to CO2 regulations”. It is clear that, according to these lobbyists, these “Euro 7” standards will be useless and the European Commission would be better off keeping a copy of it in its drawers.

However, despite the ban on new thermal vehicles in 2035, for example, a car bought in 2034 could still travel on European roads until 2050, or even longer. According to the Transport and Environment NGO, “Concerned for human health, the Commission must propose strong ‘Euro 7’ standards to tackle the 100 million polluting cars that will be registered and put on the road by 2035.” Especially as Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the internal market, recently hinted in an interview with the daily echoesthis 2035 deadline may not be met.

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