Europe's auto emissions compromise

A cyclist rides past a parked car and its exhaust pipes in Berlin, Germany.


SCOTT JAGOW: As you probably know, Europe is being pretty aggressive on global warming. One of its goals is to dramatically reduce car emissions. Today, the European Commission is expected to unveil a compromise plan for this. Carmakers would have to cut their carbon dioxide output by 18 percent instead of 25. Marketplace's Stephen Beard joins us from London. So we have a compromise — is everybody happy about it?

STEPHEN BEARD: It would be safe to say that not everyone is happy. European environmentalists say, we'd rather the whole 25 percent cut in carbon emissions was borne by the car manufacturing industry, whereas the carmakers say, yes 18 percent is better than 25 percent but still it's imposing a very heavy burden on the industry and it's going to add, according to one estimate, as much as $3,000 to the cost of a new car.

JAGOW: Now this would cover American cars as well that are sold in Europe?

BEARD: The industry's argument is a little dubious that this would unfairly affect European carmakers because indeed Japanese, South Korean or indeed American cars sold within the European Union would have to comply with this regulation.

JAGOW: But when you think about European cars even within Europe, there's quite a bit of difference in say the size of cars made by the French and the Italians versus the size of the cars made by Germany.

BEARD: That's exactly right and that's why most of the opposition has come from the Germans and not the French or the Italians.

JAGOW: Alright Stephen thank you.

BEARD: OK Scott.

JAGOW: Stephen Beard in London.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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