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Parliament debates a crushing new requirement for European automobiles.

The European Parliament is set to begin debate on a far-reaching proposal to reduce the carbon footprint of European vehicles.  The new plan is both large and far-reaching, but the most shocking part is a requirement to ban within six years all vehicles with a top speed of over 162km/h (101 mph). At a stroke, this would eliminate the manufacture and sale of every sports car in Europe, along with larger, more powerful sedans. The plan also includes a requirement that carmakers spend 20% of all advertising to warn consumers of the CO2 emissions of their products.

The plan's author is Chris Davies, a member of Parliament and spokesman for the EC's committee on the environment and public health. Mr. Davies official position is, "cars designed to go at stupid speeds have to be built to withstand the effects of a crash at those speeds. They are heavier than necessary, less fuel efficient and produce too many emissions."  This of course ignores the fact that the fastest sports cars are designed as light as possible and actually weigh much less than the average family car.

The plan is known as the Carbon Allowance Reduction System, or CARS for short... apparently in the hopes that a catchy, easy-to-remember name will help sell it.

Mr. Davies is also working on a new labeling scheme for Europe, whereby all goods and services purchased in Europe-- everything from an airline ticket to a packet of cornflakes-- will be required to be labeled with an official "carbon statement"-- the result of a complex and expensive accounting of the total emissions generated during manufacture, shipping, and use. He tosses off concerns over the cost of the project as unwarranted piffle.

Europe has long been known as home to some of the planet's fastest sports cars-- as well as its fastest public motorways.  Will one stroke of a pen change all that? Contact your local MEP to find out.

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RE: What if they said no?
By TomZ on 7/11/2007 6:22:53 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know; I was there for two weeks and never set foot in a car or bus. I somehow managed to get from London to Paris to Stuttgart to Wurzburg to Rothenburg to Munich and back to London again without ever needing a car or bus.

When I visit my business colleagues in Germany, they are exclusively driving their cars to meetings between cities in Germany and France. Just as we do here in the U.S. I think it is because, while public transport is available, it is generally less convenient and less efficient time-wise than driving. This is the same reason that public transport in the U.S. is not real well developed.

RE: What if they said no?
By Hare on 7/12/2007 11:05:24 AM , Rating: 3
Germany has the best roads in the world so travelling with a car is a joy (I love the autobahn). Germany also has excellent city to city railway connections that are a lot faster than travelling by car.

The automotive culture is strong in Germany. Volkswager, Mercedes, BMW, Audi etc. In addition to this, no one can deny the freedom that a car gives. Don't have to worry about departure times, don't have to worry about waiting for a connecting train etc...

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