EU: Carmakers can’t buy out of CO2 rules

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Commissioner Guenter Verheugen opposes letting automakers pay cash to escape the strict emissions limits that Brussels is imposing on cars to help curb global warming, he said in a newspaper interview. «I think nothing of the idea that certain manufacturers could buy their way out of their environmental responsibilities,» the EU industry commissioner told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag weekly. The European Union’s executive body has said it would unveil legislation by mid-2008 to force carmakers to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars to an average of 130 grams per km across the fleet by 2012 through improved engine technology. That would contribute toward an overall target of 120 g/km by 2012, compared to current levels of around 163 g/km. Verheugen said the Commission had examined 46 models on how to implement CO2 curbs and had selected eight for an in-depth review of their environmental, economic, social and technological impact.