BRUSSELS (Reuters) - 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 target.
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.
A proposal from German automakers' body VDA would allow manufacturers effectively to add on around 10 grams of carbon per km to the EU target, campaigners say.
VDA wants a larger number of "supercredits", which permit manufacturers to produce more cars that exceed the EU target if they also make very low emission cars, such as electric or hybrid vehicles.
It advocates letting vehicles with slightly higher emissions than the minimum set by the European Commission 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."
Campaigners accuse VDA, which represents brands such as 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 achieve it."
European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has sought to limit the number of supercredits, while Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has taken up the carmakers' argument. Continued...