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
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
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.
quote: 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.