SEPTEMBER 26, 2008
EU rejects green delays
European Union legislators have rejected an attempt to delay planned limits on carbon dioxide emissions from cars. German and French politicians have led the campaign to put off the European Commission's plan to cut emissions by 17% by 2012, arguing that the proposal threatens thousands of jobs in the automobile industry. The European car makers group ACEA says that politicians do not care about the competitiveness of the European car industry. German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had hoped to stagger the cuts until 2015, and to half the proposed fines levied on car firms for each offending vehicle, but these compromises have been thrown out by the EU environmental committee with a 46-19 vote, which sends a strong message back to the automobile industry that the issue of global warming must be addressed as quickly as possible. The latest figures of global emissions show that greenhouse gas levels were still growing with China emerging as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide, the principal gas that causes global warming. India will soon overtake Russia to become the third biggest producer, behind China and the United States. Environmental groups say that the effort to stop this growth are not sufficient.
There is an argument in F1 circles that the sport can play an important role in helping to develop more fuel efficient automobiles to help combat the problem and that by achieving that aim, F1 will secure its future funding at a time when the global economy is, at best, volatile.