ACEA agreement

ACEA agreement

The ACEA agreement refers to a voluntary agreement between the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and the European Commission to limit the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by passenger cars sold in Europe. With 18 million cars sold each year, Europe is the last major car market in the world.

Signed in 1998, the agreement seeks to achieve an average of 140 g/km of CO2 by 2008 for new passenger vehicles sold by the association's cars in Europe. This target represents a 25% reduction from the 1995 level of 186 g/km and is equivalent to a fuel economy of 5,8 L/100 km or 5,25 L/100 km for petrol and diesel engines respectively.

Besides the agreement with ACEA, the European Commission also closed agreements with the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) and Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA). However, for the latter two the target date is 2009 instead of 2008 and as ACEA accounts for 86,4% of car sales in Europe, [ PDF ] the impact of the latter two is much smaller.

The ultimate EU target to which these agreements are to contribute, is to reach an average CO2 emission (as measured according to Commission Directive 93/116/EC [ [ EUR-Lex - 31993L0116 - EN ] ] ) of 120 g/km for all new passenger cars by 2012.

Having achieved only 160 g/km in 2005, [ PDF ] the ACEA agreement has come under fire for likely failing to achieve its target.

The European Commission announced in late 2006 that it is working on a proposal for legally-binding measures and limits.

In February 2007, the Commission acknowledged the failure of the voluntary agreement [Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the Result of the review of the Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles] . Following this, a proposal of regulation was introduced by the Commission in December 19th 2007.


The agreement defines fleet-average CO2 emission targets from new cars sold in the European Union, to be reached collectively by the members of the association. CO2 is the only gas covered by the agreements, other greenhouse gas emissions are currently not controlled (see carbon dioxide equivalent). How the target is to be achieved is not specified, and are expected by the Commission to be mainly by technological developments and market changes linked to these developments.

Apart from the 140 g/km target, the ACEA should evaluate in 2003 the potential for additional improvements with a view to moving further towards the objective of emission targets:

* In the range of 165-170 g/km CO2 in 2003.
* 140 g/km of CO2 by 2008.
* 120 g/km of CO2 by 2012, the final target.

Concerning costs, a report for the European Commission last year showed that the cost of meeting the EU's own target for new cars of 120 g/km of CO2 would be on average € 577 per car, [ PDF ] which could be earned back in a few years time due to the improved fuel economy implied in the reductions.

Progress towards the target

According to the most recent data (2006) advocacy group European Federation for Transport and Environment argues that ACEA is failing their commitments. Having achieved only 160 g/km in 2005, which constitutes 1% improvement per year, ACEA would have to achieve an unlikely 4-5% annual improvement over the remaining three years.

As of the 2005 report [ PDF] , Fiat Auto has already reached the 2008 goal, three year in advance (achieving 139 g/km). Citroen (144 g/km) and Renault (149 g/km) are on track to meet the 140 g/km commitment in 2008. Ford (151 g/km) and Peugeot (151 g/km) are almost on track. These brand were also relatively good performers in 1997 and yet still managed to reduce their CO2 emissions significantly. Needless to say, some new cars introduced during 2006-2007 time period, like Honda Civic 5D 2.2i-CTDi and lower petrol engine models meet the emission target of 140g/km CO2. Many car makers do not to take the emission requirement lightly due to possible mandantory requirement in the future, but many brands are unlikely to achieve the planned 140 g/km in 2008, either for budget limitations or the necessary development of new car concepts for such goal.

Criticism has also been landed from other sides. In 2005, the World Resources Institute (WRI) further criticised ACEA, saying European car companies were not fully disclosing their strategies to comply with the voluntary agreement on CO2 reduction. "The problem with the ACEA Agreement is that nobody knows what the auto companies are planning to do to bring the industry to its 2008 target," said WRI's Amanda Sauer.

According to the Commission's 2004 progress report, ACEA already reached in 2000 the intermediate target range envisaged for 2003 and is since 2003 below the lower end of this range. [ PDF ] However, much of this improvement is attributed to a shift in the market towards diesel cars (which have better fuel economy) rather than technical improvements. The Commission in its report also expressed concern that the rate of improvement would need to rise to 3,3% a year for ACEA.

In late 2006 the European Commission announced that it was working on a proposal for a new law to limit CO2 emissions from cars, that appeared in the Communication COM (2007) 19, [ [ Microsoft Word - EN 19 - original.doc ] ] proposing an EU legislative framework to reduce CO2 emissions from light duty vehicles with a view to reaching the EU objective of 120 g/km of CO2 by 2012. It will be accompanied by a thorough impact assessment further reflecting the extent to which Member States can facilitate compliance with mandatory targets by car manufacturers through the adoption of measures to address demand, notably in the field of taxation.

Longer-term target

The Commission will support research efforts towards reaching the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) [See ERTRAC Strategic Research Agenda, December 2004, available at:] research target of "Improvements in vehicle efficiency [that] will deliver as much as a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions for passenger cars for the new vehicle fleet in 2020". This would correspond to a new car fleet average of 95 g/km of CO2 (COM/2007/19).

Some environmental groups insist on the need for a longer-term target that doubles fuel efficiency of new cars over the next decade, 80 g/km of C02 by 2020. [PDF||517 KiB ]


ee also

*Biofuels directive
*Car taxation
*Conventional car
*Emission standard
*European Common Transport Policy
*Energy policy of the European Union
*European exhaust emission standards
*Fuel efficiency
*Hybrid vehicle
*Oil dependence
*Proactive and reactive
*Vehicle efficiency.

External links

* [ European Commission page on agreements with automotive industry]
* [ Commission´s website with annual monitoring and progress reports of the agreements] .
* [ Lack of Disclosure from European Automakers Threatens Investors] (April 2005), World Resources Institute (WRI)
* [ The official ACEA - Commission Agreement itself] : Commission Recommendation of 5 February 1999 on the reduction of CO2 emissions from passenger cars (notified under document number C(1999) 107), (1999/125/EC)
* [ How Clean is Your Car Brand?] The car industry's commitment to the EU to reduce CO2 emissions: a brand-by-brand progress report. European Federation for Transport and Environment, October 2006
* [ EU to introduce legislation as car makers fail on emission targets] AFP, 3 November 2006
* [] overview of the ACEA agreement from the pages of

In the media

*Feb 07, 2007, "BBC": [ EU car CO2 fight only beginning]
*Feb 07, 2007, "European Commission": [ EU plans legislation to cut CO2 emissions from cars]
*Feb 06, 2007, "International Herald Tribune": [ EU to compromise on auto emissions]
*Jan 31, 2007, "Transport & Environment": [ Europe set to clean up fuels but stalls on cars]
*Jan 31, 2007, "European Commission": [ EU proposes stricter fuel standards to cut CO2 emissions]
*Jan 24, 2007, "The Guardian": [,,1997422,00.html Grand plan for a low-carbon Europe goes up in smoke]
*Oct 19, 2004: "European Environment Agency": [ Poor European test standards understate air pollution from cars]

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