The Forum for the Automobile and Society debates the future of air quality in Europe
Published on: 17 October 2013
FIA Region I, long-time member of the Forum for the Automobile and Society, took part in a conference on the revision of air policy in Europe on 16 October. The conference was opened and the debate was moderated by MEP Martin Callanan (ECR, UK). Speakers at the event included representatives from the EU Commission, FIA Region I, the IRU, the association representing buses, coaches, taxis and trucks, and the NGO Transport & Environment.
Speakers addressed the future of air quality from various perspectives. The FIA, represented by Luca Pascotto, insisted that the motorists must not be excluded. As car technologies that can improve air quality, such as electric cars and ecodriving techniques, are already available, public awareness and uptake need to be prioritised. Following the example of Norway’s promotion of electric vehicles may be one solution for moving forward.
“Norway’s best practices can teach governments a lot about how to encourage citizens to make the switch to electric: they have parking lots full of electric car charging stations; exemption from tax; ability to drive in bus lanes.” said Luca Pascotto. He continued “When you experience low carbon vehicles, it’s not surprising that those cars make up a large proportion of new car sales: in October, the electric Tesla became the country’s best-selling car.”
The panel discussion proceeded to field questions that focused on the promise of lower emissions with diesel engines that have not been realised. In comparison, petrol cars have been achieving their lower emission targets.
It was also suggested that, in addition to CO2, there are additional harmful emissions that should be addressed in Europe.