• Germany's news in English
 

EU to VW: Don't worry about CO2 rules

The Local · 11 Oct 2012, 13:02

Published: 11 Oct 2012 13:02 GMT+02:00

New European Union regulations will set a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that the entire fleet of cars by a particular carmaker is allowed to produce on average. The amount is set at 130 grammes per kilometre by 2015, and 95 grammes per kilometre by 2020.

But carmakers can dodge the limits by building a few electric cars, which will bring down the average emissions for the whole fleet.

In the letter, dated July 6 and quoted in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday, Oettinger told Winterkorn that "the discussion about our CO2 policy for cars after 2020 will be completely open."

The letter was a reply to a request from Winterkorn to the commissioner, dated July 5, asking him to make sure that VW would not be put at a disadvantage by the new restrictions, which were released on July 11.

"Oettinger has contributed to watering down the climate requirements," Greenpeace climate expert Franziska Achterberg told the paper.

The European Commission is also doing what it can to protect the auto industry in other ways. Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani recently called for Europe's industry to be the bloc's main priority. A joint op-ed written by Oettinger and Tajani in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the car industry needs to be protected from "a disproportionate burden."

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:16 October 11, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Nature absorbs 98.5% of the CO2 that is emitted by nature and man. Nature is a totally self-regulating mechanism that dwarfs any mindless effort to ¦quot;control¦quot; the amount of CO2 produced by coal-fired utilities, steel manufacturers, autos and planes, and gasoline fueled lawn mowers, including exhaling two pounds of the stuff every day!

No regulation by man is necessary because CO2 is not a pollutant; it is part of the animal-plant life cycle. Without it, life would not exist on Earth. Increased CO2 in the atmosphere increases plant growth, which is a very good thing during a period of world population growth and an increasing demand for food.
19:12 October 11, 2012 by bbcheen
@IchBinKönig

Are you kidding? Yes CO2 can and is absorbed by the planet's vegetation and oceans. The problem is they cannot absorb it as fast as we produce it. Global warming is a natural phenomenon that has been cyclically occurring for thousands of years. So why the fuss? Thanks to us, its occurring at a rate faster then ever before. Leaving organisms all over no time to adapt to the changing conditions (especially a warmer, increasingly acidic ocean). But then again, you probably don't believe in evolution either.
20:23 October 11, 2012 by herr_james
@IchBinSmokingCrack

yes, nature is a self-regulating mechanism. unfortunately for humans (yes, women are part of the equation too) if we over-pollute, nature will self-regulate our population down.

any population in a closed system which creates so much waste that resources required for life (clean air, water, food) are reduced, will eventually decline.

feel free test your theory by running the car in the garage with just you and a pot-plant locked in. let me know how that works out for you.
21:08 October 11, 2012 by FrankfurtFred
@ herr_james,

It's interesting that the environmental lobby (and I'm not grouping you in this category as I don't know your full views), are very vocal about man-made pollution from cars, power generation etc., on the grounds that it's unsustainable, however I don't here too many arguments from the same side against other human interventions that also impact nature's ability to self-regulate. For example medical and other scientific advances that reduce infant mortality, fight disease, improve the supply of food, prolong life etc, could also be contributing to the same problem, i.e. more people competing for scarce natural resources.

Are "positively perceived" scientific advancements contributing to a lack of sustainability as much as "negatively perceived" developments? Discuss!
09:44 October 12, 2012 by pjnt
@ichbinkonig

Although co2 is not a major greenhouse gas molecularly, as apposed to some, say, CFC's, the sheer quantity produced makes it the biggest influence on our natural system, that we currently are aware of. Co2 absorbed by land plants as they grow, but 99.9% of the time when the plant dies, that gas is released. Only rarely does it get trapped and converted into things like oil. Co2 absorbed in water based plant form or dissolved co2, which contains virtually all the planets co2 takes time. The micro organisms which build their nifty little shells out of the co2 can only work so fast. Also, the dissolved co2 comes from erosion, which is a geological process which takes a great deal of time.

The great problem is the system is over saturated. The natural systems are not keeping up. The biggest concern I can see so far is the acidity of the oceans will slowly increase as more co2 is absorbed. Should the plant and animal life which deals with ~90% of the produced co2 can not adapt to this increase in acidity, we are totally, without any hope, buggered. Their populations will decrease and not increase with the abundance of extra 'food'.

I agree that human input is quite small in the whole natural cycle. I think a fraction of 1% of all the greenhouse gasses can be linked to human activity. Thing is, it might be enough to upset the system and make it uninhabitable to humans.
14:06 October 12, 2012 by herr_james
@FrankfurtFred while i'm stunned by the reasonableness of your reply (checks, still on local site) i'll try to tell you what i know.

there are quite a few groups concerned with the contributing factors you've mentioned. maybe GE crops just don't sound as apocalyptic (wait until you see what they do to the locusts), or perhaps the science is not so easily reduced into a black and white playing field for politicians to kick footballs back and forth on.

unless you're a farmer, you probably wouldn't have been exposed to any information regarding the use of pesticides, fertilisers, modified crops or sustainable farming practices vs. supply and demand ethics.

if you are interested, there is at least one fairly solid-sounding international group concerned with the food-side of sustainability, i know of (and i'm sure there are many others). google "slow-food". they have a german branch with very well-educated and helpful team organising talks & promoting concern for sustainable practices in this field.
14:58 October 12, 2012 by honeybeee
Although EU energy department quite protect the german auto giants, german whole auto industry already quite have self-awareness to protect enviroment and try to creat a more green new auto system .Schaeffler -----german auto car- parts maker , already think protecting the environment is their responsibilty and cant be procrastinated.The Schaeffler recent periodical is entitled 'Driving Towards a Sustainable Future' and looks at a series of engineering solutions developed by Schaeffler that are helping manufacturers of traditional combustion engine-powered vehicles to produce more compact, lightweight vehicles that deliver improved fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. Schaeffler¦#39;s increasing mismatch between energy consumption and available resources, together with tighter legal restrictions on pollution, is creating an increased demand for improvements to existing automotive technologies and the development of 'greener' alternatives. The whole german auto industry is improving at this point and will be far less concerned to reach EU¦#39;s CO2 rules¦#39; deadline .
Today's headlines
The photojournalist making news intimate
World Press Photo winner Mads Nissen. Photo: DPA

The photojournalist making news intimate

9 hours ago

Photographer Mads Nissen’s World Press Photo of the Year is currently touring Germany and the world. It’s a provocative image of two Russian gay men and one that some say is changing the definition of photojournalism.

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin
ISTAF is held annually in Berlin. File Photo: DPA

Six athletics world champs head to Berlin

9 hours ago

six world champions, freshly crowned from Beijing, will be gracing Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday in the annual ISTAF track-and-field meet.

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria
Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. File Photo: DPA

A week after heatwave, snow falls in Bavaria

9 hours ago

From 30C to snow in under a week? It's possible in Germany where seven centimetres of the white stuff fell at the top of the Bavarian Alps on Friday.

Oktoberfest and the Refugee Crisis
Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart
Police and refugees at Munich Central Station. Photo: DPA

Munich plans to keep revellers, refugees apart

9 hours ago

Police in Munich are preparing a significant operation to ensure that drunken revelers at Oktoberfest are kept away from refugees arriving at the city's central station from Budapest.

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase
Photo: DPA

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase

13 hours ago

With 21 police cars and a helicopter hot on his heels, it seemed unlikely that police in Düsseldorf would fail to catch one rogue motorist. But after a two-hour pursuit, that's exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday.

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?
The Greek debt crisis has been haunting German dreams. Source: Wikipedia

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?

1 day ago

Having to cough up for the excesses of spendthrift southern Europeans is the fear most likely to haunt German nightmares in 2015. But getting caught up in a natural disaster isn't far behind, an annual survey shows.

This Week in History
The death of a great humanitarian
Schweitzer spent most of his later years at Lambaréné. Photo: DPA

The death of a great humanitarian

1 day ago

On September 4th 1965, the world lost one of its most dedicated and tireless humanitarians, as Albert Schweitzer died in the African hospital he had created and cherished for over 50 years. A hospital that continues to save lives today.

Refugee crisis
Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1
Die Ärzte singer and drummer Bela B. with a DVD titled "not interested in Nazis" in 2009. Photo: DPA

Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1

14 hours ago

Under the banner of "Arsehole Action", activists campaigning against xenophobia and hatred of refugees have pushed a 1993 hit by punk band Die Ärzte mocking the far right to the top of Germany's charts.

Refugee Crisis
Orban: Muslims threaten European identity
Viktor Orban, guardian of Europe? Photo: DPA

Orban: Muslims threaten European identity

16 hours ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Thursday that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent's Christian roots - an idea rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare
Football fans set of a flare. File Photo: DPA

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare

16 hours ago

Germany is continuing its zero tolerance approach to football supporters lighting flares in Bundesliga grounds after a Schalke supporter was jailed for 18 months on Thursday with no parole.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,913
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd