EU Plans Carbon Credits, Not Quotas

EU Plans Carbon Credits, Not QuotasEU Plans Carbon Credits, Not Quotas

 A European Union proposal to promote electric cars will shy away from quotas and instead include carbon credits that carmakers can use to offset emissions targets, EU sources told Reuters.

The proposal is expected on Nov. 8, the sources said, and will introduce new CO2 standards for cars and vans for beyond 2020 to help achieve the bloc’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The sources said the European Commission’s draft law will set a target for passenger car fleets of a 25-35% reduction in average CO2 emissions by 2030 and 30-40% for vans. The final figures within the ranges will be decided in a high-level discussion among EU commissioners closer to the date.

European carmakers have lobbied for a 20% cut and called for compliance to be conditional on consumer uptake of electric cars.

However, outrage over Volkswagen cheating on emission tests in the United States has put pressure on EU regulators to seek tougher controls over car industry emissions.

In a nod to manufacturers’ concerns that infrastructure for electric vehicles is lacking, the proposal will include 800 million euros ($943 million) of EU funding for governments, regions and cities to build accessible charging points, plus 200 million euros for battery development between 2018 and 2020.

The credits will be based on automakers’ performance against a benchmark for sales of low-emission vehicles as a proportion of their fleets, the sources added.

Asked about the contents of next month’s proposal, Europe’s climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said: “Beyond setting a general emission-reduction target for cars and vans, we are considering, for the first time, different kinds of incentives to accelerate the penetration of clean vehicles ... Personally, I do not like mandates or quotas.”

A crediting system rather than production quotas would “allow a more flexible approach, which would provide a continuous incentive for innovation”, he added.

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