More research funding is needed to meet binding carbon dioxide (CO2) emission targets in the car industry, according to a report approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday.
CO2 reduction should be addressed through vehicle technology, argues that report. Therefore, European Union (EU) member states need to increase their funding for research and development for the automobile sector.
The report, adopted with 607 votes in favor, 76 against and 14 abstentions in Strasbourg, France, also asks that cars should be permitted to emit more CO2 if these emissions result from mandatory safety measures, and that intellectual property rights must be effectively protected worldwide.
The report argues that additional safety systems might increase the weight of passenger cars and thus lead to higher CO2 emissions.
As the development of new types of passenger cars takes about five to seven years, the report urges the European Commission not to set any final mandatory targets for CO2 emissions before 2015. From 2015 on, an average target of 125 gram per km of CO2 emissions for new passenger cars should be achievable, says the report.
The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, has proposed legislation to reduce the average carbon dioxide emissions of new passenger cars to 120 grams per km by 2012.
While CO2 emissions in non-transport sectors have dropped in the EU in the past decade, emissions from cars have been on the rise, offsetting the EU's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, passenger car use accounts for about 12 percent of the EU's overall CO2 emissions.