An unrealistic and irresponsible plan to cut vehicle emissions that was adopted today by the European Parliament would endanger jobs and Europe’s car industry, ECR Group MEPs have warned.

Parliament was voting on amendments to draft laws presented by the European Commission that aim to put in place a framework for reducing emissions from vehicles by 2030. Included within the Parliament’s position is a target to cut 40% of CO2 emissions from vehicles by the end of 2030, with car manufacturers that do not produce enough zero and low emission vehicles punished with penalties and fines. An exemption that protects medium-sized manufacturers, who produce fewer than 300,000 vehicles, from the full scope of the penalties was maintained thanks to pressure from ECR MEPs.

Boleslaw Piecha, ECR Group environment spokesman, believes that in opting to go way beyond the European Commission’s proposed 30% target the Parliament’s untested and uncosted position would put car industry jobs and the competitiveness of the sector at risk.

“We were prepared to support an ambitious target to cut vehicle emissions, but not at the expense of jobs and the long term competitiveness of the car industry. Ramping up the Commission’s fully assessed 30% target to a higher 40% target that has not been robustly checked is irresponsible and unrealistic.

“Everyone wants to see more zero and lower emission vehicles on the streets but we have a duty to protect industry and jobs which means that unachievable targets combined with punitive fines and penalties is not a workable way forward,” Piecha said after the vote.