Europe wants cleaner commercial fleet

Feb. 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- European lawmakers voted in favor of a measure that limits the amount of carbon emissions permissible for light commercial vehicles.

The measure gives incentives to manufacturers who make commercial vehicles more energy efficient while imposing penalties on those who fall short of European expectations.

At least 70 percent of all the commercial fleets in Europe must cut emissions by 2014 and all of the fleet must meet European targets by 2017.

Martin Callanan, the British lawmaker who helped steer the measure through Parliament, said in a statement that the target was less ambitious than he hoped but a good step nonetheless.

"This legislation has been a difficult balancing act between setting ambitious but attainable environmental targets for manufacturers," he said in a statement.

The measure, if passed by the European Council of Ministers, would complement existing emission limits for passenger vehicles.

Light commercial vehicles make up around 10 percent of the European market and account for slightly more than 1 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union.

European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard hailed the measure because it gives manufactures the incentives needed to become more fuel efficient while contributing to Europe's climate ambitions.

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