Attempts to implement new mandatory limits on carbon dioxide
have been stalled in recent months with French and Italian car-makers supporting tighter rules and German manufacturers looking for leniency. The French and Italians support proposals for an across-the-board fleet average requirement of 120 g/km of CO
by 2012. The Germans want rules would allow more flexibility for the their larger, higher-powered cars. The European Commission is divided. German
Commissioner Guenter Verheugen and Greek Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas are on opposite sides regarding what penalties should be applied to manufacturers who don't meet the standards. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has now taken over the process of trying to reach a consensus before the end of the year.
Barroso has stated publicly that financial penalties are a must if the rules are to be taken seriously. The fines being discussed range from 10 to 90 Euros per g of CO
per car. There are also disagreements over how to apportion limits to different weight classes of vehicles with the Germans wanting higher limits for bigger cars where they dominate the market. Barroso will have his work cut out for him to reach any kind of agreement.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]