Sometimes carrots don't work, and the stick needs to come out. That's what's happening in the EU.
In 1998 the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) promised to voluntarily reduce average CO2 emissions from new cars to no more than 140 grams per kilometre by 2008. Bummer, then, when in 2006 the UK average emissions exceeds 169g/km. At that rate UK manufacturers will meet their targets by.. 2022 or so.
What went wrong? Why won't they meet their targets...Guess?...Right - most manufacturers threw climate change to the wind and sold large fuel-hungry 4x4s.
Last night, Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Davies said: “In their private boardrooms they looked at the figures, recognised that they could make more profits out of gas guzzling SUVs and 4WDs, and deliberately decided not to fulfil the commitment."
According to EU Commissioner Dimas, “This year the Commission will review the possibilities for further reductions of carbon dioxide emissions from cars after 2008-2009, with a view to meeting the Community target of 120g of CO2 per kilometre by 2012. That will, of course, require legislation.” The dreaded legislation stick.
Which is, of course, good news. Unless you haven't met your targets. According to the new T&E report released yesterday, one manufacturer has already met their target ahead of time.
Fiat gets a gold star.