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Driving Climate Change


Brussels, International — Greenpeace activists travelled in a Flintstones-style car from the headquarters of ACEA, the European car industry’s lobby group, to the European Parliament, to deliver a stone tablet bearing the logos of Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes and the message “Driving Climate Change.”(1)

The Stone Age procession is a reminder that the car industry is still
trapped in the “dinosaur dynamic” of building ever-faster and increasingly powerful gas-guzzlers at the expense of the climate. The primitive parade also marks the launch today of a new Greenpeace report, “Driving Climate Change: How the car industry is lobbying to undermine fuel efficiency legislation”.(2)

“This report shows how the car industry, led by the Germans, has misled and manipulated the EU for 17 years. We have reached the point where the car industry is endangering the EU’s ability to meet their obligations under the Kyoto treaty” said Agnes de Rooij, Greenpeace International transport campaigner.

The report highlights how:

· German car companies have won the “Business War” and now set the
agenda for the whole industry, overruling concerns of French and Italian manufacturers;

· Commissioner Günter Verheugen and ACEA created the high-level CARS 21 stakeholder group as a Trojan Horse to promote industry policy in the EU;

· The “Integrated Approach” has allowed car companies to shift responsibility for CO2 to drivers, town planners and governments;

· Car manufacturers have rewarded political supporters with loan cars and other perks;

· The car industry has already delayed legislation by seven years and is pushing for another three.

Greenpeace calls on the EU to finally bring the car industry to account and adopt a fleet average target of 120g CO2/km by 2012 and 80g CO2/km by 2020. These standards must be backed by meaningful sanctions and not play into the hands of the German lobby by providing special treatment for makers of heavy cars.

“The Parliament must not allow the car lobby to drive down the EU’s first-ever fuel economy standard. The Stone-Age thinking of the car industry cannot be allowed to risk the planet for short-term profits,” said Franziska Achterberg, Greenpeace EU transport campaigner.


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