In a public discussion hosted at Europa House in Valletta earlier today, MEP Miriam Dalli was invited to speak on the report she pioneered on the reduction of CO2 emissions by cars and vans in the EU.
It was here that Dalli clarified the agreement will only apply to new vehicles. That means old and already existing vehicles will not require any sort of retrofitting (or similar modifications) to comply with these standards.
The discussion panel included Dalli (the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the report), University of Malta’s Prof. Simone Borg from the Institute of Climate Change, Dr Caroline Gouder from the Department of Respiratory Medicine and Mr Mark Scerri from the Environment and Resource Authority. The discussion was chaired by Dr Claire Bonello, chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Environment and the ENGO Counsel.
— Parlament Ewropew MT (@EP_Malta) January 11, 2019
The negotiations for European carbon reduction targets ended on December 17th and aim to reduce the emissions from cars by 40% by 2030 when compared to 2021 levels.
These redefined levels are a response to the more lenient targets of 30% set by the European Commission earlier this year.
Europe’s transition towards low and zero carbon cars
Dalli’s European Parliament report comes at a time when the European Union is working hard on meeting its climate targets. While it must up its competition against countries like China for the production and sales of electric cars, Dalli envisions a Europe that will lead the world transition towards low and zero carbon cars.
“The rules introducing lower CO2 emission standards for new vehicles can result in a decrease in EUR 170 million tonnes of CO2 in the air from 2025-2030 and cheaper cars.” For this reason, she says that the European Parliament has fought for the introduction of technological details that would ensure that the legislation on paper would deliver on the road.
When asked to discuss the report in terms of a local context, Dalli said that there is an 11-year transition period for the legislation to be implemented. This will allow car manufacturers to produce less emission vehicles while also giving EU countries time to develop policy on how to address these changes.
The stiffer targets have been met with some harsh criticism
The European People’s Party, the Parliament’s biggest group and the German car industry fiercely lobbied Dalli’s report. They felt that the report’s new targets are too rigid and threaten the car manufacturing industry.
Dalli has reiterated that the report includes a fair transition for those who will lose their jobs as a result of this policy. She has also said that she will continue to work hard to make sure that there is strong legislation that actually delivers environmental, health and economic benefits. She highlighted that the report considers air quality, public health and how consumers would benefit, as well as the industry, jobs, technical innovation and competitiveness.
Not letting any of this criticism get in her way, Miriam Dalli was recently named the ‘Eco-Warrior’ by Politico, who listed her as one of their 28 doers, dreamers and disruptors of 2018 for the report she piloted on emission targets that aimed at creating a better environment throughout the EU.