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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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By Ringold on 7/12/2007 2:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they want to legislate carbon emissions, then that is what they should do, not go trying to make a point by crying wolf about banning sports cars.


In theory, I'd agree. In practice though I really prefer they take this route. Here they are, telling the world what their objective is; to reduce emissions and strike at a symbol of affluence. The world can therefore easily listen and very quickly understand what's going on -- and object. If they were savvy politicians, they'd do exactly what you propose, but they'd make it stringent enough that it achieved the exact same end result. The difference is it'd be a more complicated route and the only people that'd bother to pick up on it before it were too late would be the "right wing nutjob" types. So, yes, at least for now it's above board rather than below the table -- I reference the amazing vanishing act of the American diesel engine for the 2008 model year as such an example.


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