Europe Is Split On Car Emissions Limits

Estimated read time 3 min read

Some think regulations are going too far.

Here in the United States whenever there’s a pushback against increasing emissions standards as well as the mandate of electric-only vehicles, someone almost inevitably points to Europe as a shining example of how we should be. One of the many problems with doing that is these proponents of so-called “green” transportation fail to understand that even in Europe tightening emissions standards is a controversial topic.

Find out which state has weighed paying people to not own a car here.

The latest example is a recent meeting of transport ministers from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia on how to stop ramping up emissions standards on the continent yet again.

While it might not seem surprising to those who have some familiarity with European politics to see countries like the Czech Republic and Hungary on that list, the fact German and Poland are leaning against these restrictive emissions standards should give one some pause.

All these countries have one thing in common: they rely heavily on the auto industry for economic vitality. While proponents of EVs and ever-increasing emissions standards for ICE vehicles talk about a utopia where everyone will be better off, these countries are looking at the reality of tens of thousands of workers displaced from the industry, entire support industries devastated, and additional turmoil.

It’s no wonder this animosity has grown. Back in July 2021 the EU fined Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen a whopping $1 billion for not competing with each other on vehicle emissions equipment which exceeded EU regulatory standards. You see, the EU isn’t satisfied just with ratcheting up regulations, it wants automakers to push things further and when they don’t, they get whacked. What regulators don’t ask is what would be the cost of going that far? Instead, they’re myopically focused on one thing: cutting emissions.

This line of thought has led to insane energy policies in Europe, like getting natural gas and oil from Russia. We’ve all seen how well those moves have worked, although they did allow Europeans to pretend their manufacturing and utilities were shrinking their carbon footprint instead of just exporting those activities to a nation with a dangerous leader.

It’s not clear if these European nations will be successful in their pushback against Euro 7 emissions standards. Even if they’re not, it’s clear not everyone sees the constant ratcheting up of regulations in an effort to smother out ICE vehicles is a positive move. After all, not everyone can live in fantasy land where energy comes without emissions, whether it be from manufacturing EV batteries and solar panels or burning gas in a combustion engine.

Sources: Reuters, AP

Images via Dante Juhasz, Kab Visuals, Andrea Piacquadio

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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