Moderates propose radical car efficiency regulations

A Swedish Moderate party group has proposed the introduction of radical new regulations to limit the fuel consumption of new vehicles.

The Moderate party group has proposed that regulations be introduced to limit fuel consumption to 0.5 litres/10 kilometres, equating to 95 grams of carbon dioxide/kilometre.

The limits are significantly more ambitious than a proposal from the EU Commission for 2012 which will go before the EU parliament’s environmental committee next week.

The Moderate party group’s proposal would be an absolute limit and not an average value which is stipulated by the EU 2012 goal of 130 grams of carbon dioxide/kilometre.

The Swedish government can enforce a range of national measures but it is at EU level that the change can be decisive, Lars Lindblad of the Moderate party group explained to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Lindblad would like to see the the Swedish government push for more radical measures at the EU level.

But domestically Sweden has much work to do as the country came out bottom of a recent EU-wide survey of average car emissions. Swedish private cars emit an average of 184 grams of carbon dioxide/kilometre, way over the proposed EU limit.

There are 325,000 cars on Swedish roads which run without a catalytic converter. These old, heavy cars emit 100 times the carbon dioxide of new vehicles.

“This is of course not good. We have to do more within the automotive sector, both nationally and at EU level,” said Lars Lindblad of the Moderate party environment group.

The proposals presented by the group have been described as “extremely radical” by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen/SNCC). The society warns however that there is a risk with such tough targets.

“It is all very well to have strong ambitions, but there is a risk that one is not taken seriously. We would be happy if Fredrik Reinfeldt would push for the implementation of the cross-party agreement in the parliamentary climate commission, but the government is doing nothing with regard to the long term goals,” said Magnus Nilsson of the SNCC to Svenska Dagbladet.