Campaign urges MEPs to vote for fuel
Brussels, 28 August
2008 - Making manufacturers produce cleaner cars is the best way to bring down
climate changing emissions from Europe's cars, and urgent action on fuel
efficiency should be taken by the European Union, according a majority of
people around Europe. 
An opinion poll conducted in five EU countries
shows overwhelming support among citizens for measures to force carmakers to
reduce the fuel consumption of the cars they produce by 25 per cent without
delay. The results come ahead of decisive votes in the European Parliament on a
proposed new legally-binding target for new car CO2 emissions.
The poll - carried out by TNS Opinion - probed
close to 5000 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. An overwhelming majority (87 per cent) stated that measures to reduce the fuel
consumption of new cars by a quarter - equivalent to the 120g CO2/km target
being discussed by MEPs - should be introduced urgently.
Almost half (46 per cent) of respondents think
that requiring manufacturers to reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles is the
best way to reduce harmful emissions from cars, ahead of tax incentives (27 per
cent) and promoting fuel-efficient cars through better information (13 per
Also, around two thirds (64 per cent) of
citizens support the statement that such measures will be good for their
national economy because people will buy less fuel and have more money to spend
on other things. Respondents listed fuel consumption (64 per cent) as the most
important factor, apart from price, when choosing a new car. Safety was second
(37 per cent) and environmentally clean third (26 per cent).
The findings seem to show that citizens don't
buy carmakers' claims that the proposed legislation would damage their
German respondents felt the most strongly that
requiring manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption was the best way to improve
efficiency, despite the German car industry's attempts to weaken the planned
sending a loud and clear message to politicians and carmakers to shift fuel
efficiency up a gear," says Jeroen Verhoeven, car efficiency campaigner for
Friends of the Earth Europe. "Car
fuel efficiency is a simple, effective and sustainable way to reduce Europe's climate changing emissions. MEPs should listen to their constituents and vote for
a regulation which is guaranteed to deliver a 25 per cent reduction in fuel
consumption by 2012."
The lack of progress by the car industry on
fuel efficiency is highlighted in a new advertising campaign launched today by
Friends of the Earth Europe and Transport and Environment (T&E).  The
two environmental groups are calling on MEPs to vote for fuel efficiency
targets (120g CO2/km by 2012 and 80g CO2/km by 2020).
The adverts show the 1948 and 2008 models of
the Volkswagen Beetle which, despite sixty years of advances in automobile
design, share the same level of fuel efficiency. The post-war Beetle used 7.5 litres per 100 km driven (3). The 2008 Beetle 'Luna' 1.6 Petrol uses the same .
Meyer of T&E states: "For the last six decades, carmakers have been
innovative in everything but fuel efficiency. And they have failed to notice
that times have changed. We need fuel efficient cars that minimise impacts on
cars were twice as efficient as they are today, we'd be on the right track.
It's up to MEPs to set the targets, and to Europe's top automotive talent to
produce the goods," she adds.
A website - www.forlesspollutingcars.com -
has been launched where people can ask MEPs to support car fuel efficiency and
read more about the EU's proposals.
Environment Agency estimates that cars are responsible for 14 per cent of CO2
For more information please contact:
Jeroen Verhoeven, Car Efficiency Campaigner
for Friends of the Earth Europe, +32 2542 6101 and +32 477 463181 (Belgian
Francesca Gater, Communications Officer,
Friends of the Earth Europe, +32 2 542 6105 and +32 485 930 515 (Belgian
Notes to editors
(1) Click here for
the full results of the opinion poll.
(2) The FOEE / T&E campaign will run in
the European Voice newspaper and on Euractiv.Com.
Click here to view the
(3) 1948 Volkswagen Beetle (Type 11), 7.5 litres / 100km "Average running", source: Volkswagen Type 11 "Instruction
Book", pg 5, 1948;
(4) 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Luna 1.6
Petrol, 7.5 litres / 100km (EU combined), source: www.volkswagen.de
For more information see Friends of the Earth
paper on setting CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars
information on the Cars Directive.