Car emissions testing must be brought into 21st century

02-Feb-2016 @ 14:0

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European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group MEPs are warning that a rejection of changes to car emissions testing procedures could delay improvements to air quality.

The European Parliament will tomorrow (Wednesday) vote on a proposal to block the introduction of so-called "Real Driving Emissions" (RDE) testing.

RDE tests aim to ensure that emissions tests take place in real-world operating conditions, and are expected to help address the problem of high nitrogen dioxide emissions from diesel vehicles. This is a big change from the current “Type Approval” testing which only uses laboratory tests.

A committee of experts has said that real-world emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide should be phased in between 2017 and 2020 but has not identified an end date by which a variance from the norm would be set at zero.

The blocking proposal has been put forward by MEPs who claim that these limits are excessive.

ECR Environment Spokesman Julie Girling MEP said: "Concerns about the limits proposed are valid, but blocking the whole process of moving to RDE would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

"Instead, the concerns about emissions should be dealt with in parallel to the new tests being introduced.

"RDE for new cars will bring clear reductions in emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide and improve air quality therefore delaying its introduction by months, or even years, is not the right response.

"Emissions testing rules have not changed for almost thirty years, and it is vital that the European Parliament endorses this latest step towards improving the testing regime."

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