Less than two weeks after being proposed, the European Commission's plan to force Europe's car industry to reduce new car carbon dioxide emissions to 120 grams per kilometre / 2.6 ounces per mile, has been shelved by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Meant to be part of a wider climate change strategy for the European Union, the best way to achieve the proposed carbon dioxide reductions ended up being argued over by the commissioners and the European auto makers.

A source in Brussels indicated that such an aggressive move on emissions could result in the closure of DaimlerChrysler, Audi, BMW and Porsche which would fail the commission's aim of turning Europe into a leader in green technology while boosting output and jobs. The European car industry's emissions average in 2005 was 163 grams and it will likely fail to achieve its voluntary target of cutting emissions to 140 grams by 2008.

Analysis: It's hard for a company to innovate when its bankrupt. I'm all for aggressive targets but I think what's going to get us to the hydrogen utopia we all desire is companies that are in a financial position to push forward R&D, not targets that will sink them. I wonder why the European Commission doesn't make the hard target 140 grams per kilometre, by say 2009, and put just enough pressure on the car makers to get real results instead of a political fight.

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[Source: The Age]

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