There is no end in sight to the dispute over the planned Euro 7 emissions standard. The Ministry of the Environment wants to move forward – but the Minister of Transport stands by the side of critics who are calling for significant changes.
The Federal Ministry for the Environment is urging the controversial Euro 7 emissions standard to be introduced within a year. According to a spokeswoman for the German Press Agency, the ministry is committed to passing Euro 7 before the end of this electoral term in the European Parliament. Criticism from other EU states of the project “does not want to join the BMUV,” it said.
The Ministry of the Environment, led by the Green Party Steffi Lemke, is openly opposing its coalition partner FDP. Transport Minister Volker Wissing said at a meeting of EU transport ministers on Thursday that he saw himself as closely connected to other critical EU countries. The minister emphasized: “I think it’s a mistake to present a Euro 7 regulation now and thus cause considerable costs for the automotive industry and also for those in the commercial vehicle sector.”
Rules are scheduled to come into force in 2025
In November, the EU Commission made proposals to revise the limit values for pollutants such as nitrogen oxides. Another new feature of the planned Euro 7 standard is that future pollutants such as particulate matter from tire abrasion and braking are to be regulated. This means that electric cars and hydrogen vehicles would also be affected by the rules. EU states and the European Parliament still have to negotiate the project and agree on a common line. It is currently planned that the rules will come into force in 2025 or in 2027 for trucks and buses.
The Ministry of the Environment is in charge of the project. However, if the federal government cannot agree on a common line, Germany would probably have to abstain from a possible vote among the EU states. Since other EU countries have already announced opposition to the project, a majority is currently not in sight.
Criticism from several EU countries
In a joint position paper, Italy, France and six eastern EU states openly voiced their criticism of Euro 7. It states, among other things, that all new emissions regulations, including new emission limits for cars and vans, should be scrapped. In addition, the deadlines from which the new requirements would have to be implemented would have to be extended.
At least on this point, critics and the German Ministry of the Environment agree: Lemke had already said in February that she was particularly critical of the introduction periods planned by the EU Commission. In principle, however, the Ministry of the Environment emphasizes: “We need Euro 7 as a significant contribution to improving air quality and as a contribution to meeting current and future air quality limits.” Meanwhile, the auto industry is warning of significant price increases for vehicles if the rules become reality.