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FIA Statement on CO2 emission targets

Publication date: 07 February 2007

“To be most efficient the European strategy to combat global warming needs to become more comprehensive and better integrated” declares Wil Botman, Director General of the FIA European Bureau. “Achieving sustainable motoring has to be a shared responsibility between industry, policy makers and mobile consumers.”


As the European Commission is about to issue its strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, the FIA repeats its call to the European Union to take a resolute lead in defining the roadmap for different CO2 reduction measures, prioritised according to cost-efficiency and impact assessment.


The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and its member motoring clubs are at the forefront of the quest for sustainable mobility, making it, cleaner, safer and more reliable while keeping it affordable for all.


Combating global warming is a top priority for the EU. Since 1998, the voluntary agreement between the European Commission and the car industry targeting a reduction in CO2 emissions to 140 g / km by 2008/9 has contributed to a decline of CO2 emissions by more than 10 % in the last decade. The FIA is disappointed that on present trends this target will not be reached, and therefore believes that there is a strong argument for strengthening the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from cars. According to “EcoTest”(1) a FIA programme benchmarking emissions from new cars, the results confirm the Commission’s fears that the CO2 emissions target (140 g / km) will not be achieved. With more cars on the road than ever before however, efforts must be broadened and strengthened.


“We must enhance our efforts” says Frank van West, FIA Foundation Technical Director. “Energy efficient motoring is one important aspect if we are to achieve sustainable mobility.”


Where can the most cost-efficient gains of energy efficiency be made? For the FIA, progressive measures addressing vehicle and fuel technologies, road infrastructure and driver behaviour have to be combined to achieve the most cost-efficient energy efficiency gains. On all these aspects a lot of efforts have to be made. FIA clubs will do their utmost in informing their 40 million European members on the possibilities to buy the most fuel-efficient and cleanest cars and to drive in the most fuel-efficient way. FIA calls also to bring new CO2 efficient fuels on the market as soon as possible.


Werner Kraus, Chairman of the FIA EuroCouncil pointed out that with climate change being a global issue, the international perspective should not be forgotten either. He referred to the statement made in the CARS 21 High-level Group by FIA President Max Mosley: “There is little point in the EU increasing the stringency of its own CO2 commitment if the rest of the world with its rapidly growing vehicle fleet is not also improving its fuel economy standards.”(2) On the long-term the FIA would therefore welcome a global agreement on car fuel efficiency (e.g. 140 g CO2 / km).


Vehicle technology / fuels
In order to enhance technological innovation and to achieve the European objective of reducing CO2 emissions, the FIA appeals to the automotive industry to achieve the original objective of the voluntary agreement, and beyond that make progress towards the target of 120 grams, in the context of a comprehensive approach by bringing new technologies to market in combination with CO2 efficient fuels. Motor sport, as always in the vanguard of introducing new technologies, can play its part too. Sophisticated measures to reduce fuel consumption will be introduced in Formula One(3).


Fiscal incentives
A targeted incentive policy should underpin the development of CO2 efficient technologies and fuels.  Hence, FIA supports the proposal for a Directive on car taxation based on CO2 as a vital part of the EU strategy to achieve sustainable mobility.


Infrastructure / mobility planning
Road infrastructure and traffic management measures represent an underexploited opportunity for energy efficiency gains. More investment in road infrastructure is needed to remove bottlenecks and missing links, reduce congestion and absorb the effects of EU enlargement. Telematic systems and integrated mobility planning also help improving efficient energy use.


Consumer information
Motorists want clear information on fuel economy when making purchasing decisions. Through “EcoTest”(1), motoring clubs make such information widely available to consumers. The study by ADAC of Germany on the availability of consumer information on CO2 emissions of new cars conducted at the request of the Commission calls for harmonised information labels. Indeed this recommendation which has also been taken by the CARS 21 High-Level Group still has to be taken further by the EU.


Driving behaviour
Long-term analysis shows that fuel efficient driver training increases overall fuel efficiency by five to ten percent. This represents a significant contribution to emission reduction. The ECMT review of transport CO2 abatement policies(2), co-funded by the FIA Foundation, confirms that the largest and most cost efficient abatement policies come from initiatives to improve fuel efficient driving. Fuel efficient driving should be part of novice driver training while advanced driver training should help to sustain the long-term effect. On-board diagnostics should inform drivers about the performance of their vehicle and the consequences of driving habits and maintenance. In this respect gear-shift indicators are a valuable development.


Lifestyle patterns
As the EU moves increasingly towards becoming a more service-based economy, more flexible concepts regarding working patterns – flexitime or teleworking – could also contribute to reductions in congestion and thereby CO2 emissions.  Staggering school holidays and extending the principle tourist seasons also have a role to play in reducing congestion in leisure mobility.


Global perspective
Given the global character of climate change policy it is important to extend the considerations about how to address energy efficiency issues beyond the EU. Knowledge sharing on energy efficient technologies should be an important pillar of the EU approach. This would for instance allow the car industry to progressively broaden the scope of the 140 grams per km target at a global level.
Notes for Editors

The FIA via its affiliated members, national motoring and touring organisations represents over 100 million motorists worldwide and more than 40 million motorists in the European Union. Europe’s motoring and touring organisations have as their highest priority to make mobility more sustainable, i.e. more reliable, cleaner and safer while keeping it affordable for all. In this respect the automobile clubs for instance help motorists increasing the energy efficiency of their cars by offering fuel efficient driving courses and information about the fuel efficiency of cars.


(1) The annual EcoTest – developed by the ADAC in assignment of the FIA Foundation – supports the consumer to choose an environmentally friendly car considering individual needs regarding vehicle size and class. It assesses the emissions of hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). The final star rating of cars is based on emissions and fuel consumption. The public interest in this important consumer information is shown by the numerous enquiries and requests for further measurements. The results are seen as an important input for the political discussion on car emissions.


(2) The European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT report “Cutting Transport CO2 emissions: What Progress?”, which was co-funded by the FIA Foundation, examines the level of CO2 emissions from the transport sector and reviews the effectiveness of CO2 abatement policies. The report analyses over 400 abatement measures that have either been introduced or are under development across Europe and makes recommendations for future policy direction.


(3) Formula One is now moving, with the cooperation of the major motor manufacturers involved, to a fuel efficiency basis whereby a competitive advantage will be secured by extracting more work from a given amount of energy (i.e. fuel) rather than getting the maximum work from an engine of a limited capacity. This process is likely to be complete by 2011 or 2012 at the latest and to be followed in motor sport generally.


Graphics are available in the pdf-version of this statement.

co2_statement_fia.pdf (43 KB)


For more information please contact:
Olivier Lenz - Tel. +32 2 282 08 25


For further reading:
- European Commission, press release IP/07/155

IP-07-155_EN.pdf (93 KB)


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