EU Commission Proposes Stricter Emissions Standards for Cars
BRUSSELS, Belgium The European Commission approved a bill Wednesday to impose stricter emission standards on vehicles and seek to close a loophole that allows gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles to escape the EU pollution limits.
The European Union's executive arm also approved plans that would oblige public bodies to spend at least a quarter of their spending on buses, garbage trucks and other heavy vehicles on those using "clean" technology such as biofuels, electric motors or natural gas.
"The growing problems caused by pollution in towns and cities and the steady increase in the price of oil make it necessary to help the motor industry to produce less-polluting vehicles," said EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot.
Under the new rules, SUV manufacturers would no longer be able to classify them as light commercial vehicles that are subject to less stringent pollution restrictions, said EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen.
He told a news conference the new rules would be "a very significant step toward improving European vehicles in the field of environmental technology, making our environment clearer without damaging the competitiveness of European industry."
If approved by the European Parliament and governments of the 25 EU nations, Verheugen said the rules could be in place by the second half of 2008.
Manufacturers will be obliged to fit new filters on diesel driven cars to cut emissions of noxious particles by up to 80 percent while aiming to cut emissions of hydrocarbons from gasoline cars by 25 percent.
Source: Associated Press