Skip to content

CO2 Labels for Motorbikes in Europe?

January 29, 2010

CO2 Labels for Motorbikes in Europe?

By JAMES KANTER

PhotoEd Alcock for The NYT Europeans may soon see carbon dioxide labels on their motorcycles.

The European Commission plans to propose rules that would oblige motorcycle manufacturers to label new models with the amount of carbon dioxide they emit, Giacomo Mattino, a senior official in the directorate for enterprise and industry, said on Thursday.

The commission, the European Union’s executive body, has already imposed limits on CO2 emissions from cars and is in the process of seeking to impose similar rules on light trucks and vans.

Mr. Mattino, who is the deputy head of the unit for the automotive industry at the commission, said the rules for motorcycles would be different, at least initially, because they would be focused on labeling rather than statutory limits.

He said commission officials at the environment department could to take further steps to regulate tailpipe emissions from motorbikes at a later date.

Limits on greenhouse gases in the area of transportation have been “at the very center of attention since last year,” said Mr. Mattino said in Brussels. Motorcycle consumers should have “more in terms of information” about the impact of their vehicles on the environment, he said.

He said it was straightforward to figure out the amount of CO2 emissions by using fuel consumption as a basis for that calculation.

Jacques Campagne, the secretary general of the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, a lobbying group, said regulating CO2 emissions from motorcycles was less pressing than in the case of cars and trucks because motorcycles represented only 1 percent of CO2 emissions from road transport.

Even so, Mr. Campagne, who was speaking on the sidelines of his group’s annual conference in Brussels, said the industry would not oppose any rules on labeling in the future.

He said motorcycle manufacturers did not currently label new models with figures on CO2 emissions partly because of the way that national governments could take advantage of the information in order to impose new taxes on buyers.

The motorcycle industry had “a bad experience in Spain” last year because the government discouraged some buyers of new motorcycles with varying levels of taxes based on CO2 levels, said Mr. Campagne.

The taxes in Spain, in combination with the economic downturn, meant a dip in sales of about 40 percent last year, he said. Now the level of the tax in Spain was “more acceptable than before,” he said.

But he said that manufacturers were keen to avoid similar situations in other European Union countries and that they were pushing the commission put into effect guidelines to increase pressure on governments to create “a level playing field” for taxes on new motorcycles.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: