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Car emissions: RH warns against lack of climate targets

According to EU auditors, carbon dioxide emissions from cars in the European Union are unlikely to decrease despite ambitious climate targets. Most cars “still emit as much CO2 as they did twelve years ago”, according to a report published yesterday by the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg.

One reason is that so far few electric cars have reached the market. “Vehicle CO2 emissions will only really decrease when the combustion engine loses its dominant position”, explained Auditor Pietro Russo.

However, the EU has not yet managed to help electric cars achieve a breakthrough. There is a lack of charging infrastructure in most European countries and electric models are also more expensive than conventional cars.

Difference between laboratory and real values

According to the report, combustion engines have become more efficient. However, potential savings in CO2 emissions would be offset by heavier, higher-powered engines.

Actual emissions are still higher than those measured in the laboratory, despite improved testing conditions as a result of the diesel scandal. This particularly applies to hybrid models, whose carbon dioxide emissions are generally estimated to be too low.

The EU has had binding climate targets for CO2 emissions from cars since 2009. Emissions must therefore fall to zero by 2035. However, transport is one of the sectors where carbon dioxide emissions have increased over the last 30 years, most recently being responsible for 23% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.