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Morgan welcomes European Commission order to cut Co2 emissions

8 February, 2007

Sinn Fein spokesperson on the Environment Deputy Arthur Morgan today welcomed the European Commission orders to car manufacturers to cut Co2 emissions in an effort to tackle climate change.

Deputy Morgan said, "The European Commission was completely right to order car manufacturers to cut Co2 emissions by 18% over the next five years and Sinn Fein welcomes this. However, these orders have come about only after the car manufacturers have consistently missed or blatantly ignored voluntary targets to curb Co2 emissions in cars. It is essential that the companies that do not meet the new requirements are penalised appropriately.

"The commission has said that they are going to encourage member states to levy car taxes based on Co2 emissions and improve labelling to help consumers who want to choose more fuel efficient vehicles. While there will be a new motor tax based on emissions in effect in this state from 2008, it does not go far enough. The fact that it will not actually come into effect until 2008 shows the lack of commitment that this government has to environmental issues and making real efforts to combat the rise in Co2 emissions.

"Reports from the Central Statistics Office are showing that car buyers are purchasing more and more larger vehicles and this is a significant factor in rising greenhouse gas emissions. The damage will already be done during 2007. We are way behind in this state in terms of energy efficiency and according to Sustainable Energy Ireland it is getting worse.

"As a result of government policy we live in a car dependant society, yet the government are clearly not doing enough to offset the level of emissions that is coming from the car dependant population. The government have their role to play in this and should take heed from the calls of the European Commission to penalise those who wish to drive vehicles with environmentally damaging higher engine capacity. They should also be making every effort to make it easier for people to drive economically sound vehicles". ENDS

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