The EU regulations governing CO2 emissions from passenger cars (443/2009/EC) and light commercial vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes (510/2011/EU), in effect since April 2009 and June 2011 respectively, set the specific emission limits for all new passenger car and light commercial vehicle models and the fleet targets calculated from the individual vehicle data of brands and groups in the 27 EU member states until 2019. They form the basis of European climate protection regulations for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and therefore the key regulatory framework for product design and marketing by all vehicle manufacturers operating in the European markets.
From 2012 onwards, the average CO2 emissions of Europe’s new passenger car fleet may not exceed 130 g CO2 /km, with this target being reached in four stages. From 2012 onwards, 65% of the fleet must meet this requirement; in 2015, the entire fleet must remain below the limit.
A further significant reduction in European passenger car fleet emissions to 95 g CO2 /km from 2020 onwards is already legally effective. The details as to how the target will be reached have yet to be put in place, however, and are scheduled to be set out during the 2012/2013 review. Politicians are already discussing reduction targets for the transport sector for the period to 2050, such as the 60% reduction in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels cited in the EU White Paper on transport published in March 2011. It will only be possible to meet these goals by also using significant proportions of nonfossil sources of energy, in particular renewable e-mobility.
At the same time, CO2 or fuel consumption regulations are being developed or introduced outside Europe, in Japan, China, India and Brazil, for example. In the USA, it is expected that a new consumption regulation will impose further uniform fuel consumption and greenhouse gas rules on all states in the USA, in this case to cover the period 2017 to 2025. The bill has been released for a political decision.
The increasing global convergence of approaches and targets in the area of automotive regulations means that the reduction in trade restrictions called for by the automotive industry is also being addressed. Nevertheless, there is a risk that regulations will be formulated to benefit a nation’s domestic industry.
It remains unclear what direction climate protection regulations will take in the course of efforts to update the Kyoto Protocol. At the World Climate Conference held in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011, delegates once again failed to achieve a breakthrough towards a uniform global framework for climate protection. As no agreement was reached to establish minimum targets, there is no long-term prospect of stringent climate protection requirements. On a positive note, however, all member states recognize the goal of limiting global warming to 2°C, creating a viable basis for the necessary further negotiation process.
In order to be best prepared for the third emissions trading period in 2013, we calculated and reported the CO2 emissions to be reported for our German plants in accordance with the Datenerhebungsverordnung ( DEV 2020 – German Data Collection Regulation). Our other plants in the European Union were also checked in accordance with the national laws in force at those locations. The changes to the emissions trading regulations for the third trading period and their transposition into German law have been completed. From a current perspective, there will be only an insignificant increase in the number of installations included in the European emissions trading system from 2013 onwards and the amount of CO2 emissions required to be traded.
The allocation of the necessary emissions certificates will change significantly as of 2013. These will no longer be allocated mostly free of charge through National Allocation Plans. Instead, a steadily falling number of certificates, for direct production emissions for example, will be allocated free of charge. Companies will have to purchase any additional certificates they require at auction. Unlike before, CO2 emissions certificates for power generation will have to be purchased in full. Estimates to date indicate that the energy costs incurred by the Volkswagen Group’s European sites will increase mainly as a result of purchasing the emission allowances required for the operation of their own installations such as power stations and heating facilities.