European lawmakers have approved a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans by 40 percent by 2030, Reuters reported. Members of the European Parliament voted 389 to 239 in favor of the new target, which also sets a 20 percent reduction goal for 2025.
Transportation is Europe’s only sector in which emissions are still rising. In addition to adopting more fuel-efficient technologies, the plan, passed today, would also allow carmakers to reach CO2 targets by selling a certain number of zero- and low-emissions vehicles. Companies will be fined for exceeding the CO2 limits.
“If we don’t make sure that Europe is able to produce clean cars within a reasonable time frame, we will not only miss our Paris Climate Change targets but the European car industry will lag behind,” said Malta’s Miriam Dalli, who shepherded the vote through the chamber.
The plan has faced strong criticism from the auto industry, which argues that the rules will have an impact on jobs and affordability.
“The European Parliament is setting completely unrealistic targets,” Bernhard Mattes, president of the German automotive association, VDA, told Reuters. “It ignores technical and economic feasibility. The targets cannot be achieved in this period of time.”