* German industry body seeks more "supercredits"
* Climate Commissioner seeks to limit the number
BRUSSELS Nov 26 German car manufacturers are
seeking to widen a loophole in EU regulations that would allow
them to produce more cars with carbon emissions above a 2020 EU
A proposal from German automakers' body VDA would allow them
effectively to add on around 10 grams of carbon per km to an EU
target to cut vehicle carbon emissions, campaigners say.
EU car manufacturers are divided over how a 2020 EU target
to cut carbon emissions to an average of 95 grams per km should
be shared out across the European industry.
VDA wants a larger number of "supercredits", which allow
manufacturers to produce more cars that exceed the EU target if
they also make very low emission cars, such as electric or
The German industry group is seeking to increase the number
of supercredits by, for instance, allowing vehicles with
slightly higher emissions than the minimum set by the European
Commission to qualify for supercredits, and getting rid of a cap
of 20,000 registrations per manufacturer.
"Twenty thousand is far too low," Eckehart Rotter, VDA
spokesman, said on Monday. "Supercredits are a good thing."
The precise implications of supercredits depend on many
variables and they could lead to increased uptake of very low
emission vehicles, as well as allowing the continued production
of more heavily polluting ones.
But campaigners accuse VDA, which represents brands like
Volkswagen and BMW, of seeking to defer
compliance with EU targets and of making them less ambitious.
"The cumulative supercredits proposed by the VDA would
increase the target by at least 10 grams," Franziska Achterberg,
EU transport policy adviser at Greenpeace European Union, said.
"They are calculating the target, rather than trying to
European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has sought to
limit the number of supercredits, while Energy Commissioner
Guenther Oettinger has taken up the carmakers' argument.
According to publicly available minutes of a Commission
meeting in July, Oettinger said the cap of 20,000 registrations
"seems too low, particularly for high volume manufacturers".
Daimler AG is among those who have supported
"Supercredits for vehicles with very low CO2 emissions are a
positive incentive for the manufacturers, which does not cost
the taxpayers anything and would be applied consistently across
the EU," Hartmut Baur, senior manager, environmental, energy and
transport policy at Daimler AG, said earlier this month.
(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Mark Potter)