In response to Wednesday’s EU communication on CO2 emissions limits for light vehicles, the German government has said that it would not support a blanket upper limit on CO2 emissions from vehicles, as has been feared by some automotive industry representatives.

Such an upper limit is one way that the EU might enforce its target of reducing CO2 emissions from light vehicles to an average of 130g/km by 2012, as outlined yesterday. How that average is achieved has yet to be agreed.

A German government spokesperson told dpa-AFX news that it will support stepped CO2 reduction targets for different segment of vehicles.

According to the news agency, the European Commission spoke about a ‘right’ for differentiation between vehicle manufacturers, and that above all it is looking for a ‘competition-neutral’ solution.

Intense lobbying from Germany resulted in the average limit being reduced to 130g/km, from the originally intended 120g/km. It said it should not bear the whole burden for reducing CO2 emissions.

The European Commission has kept 120g/km as a target, but 10g/km of that should come from other measures, such as increased bio-fuel use and improved infrastructure, rather than vehicle technology. This is the so-called ‘integrated approach’ called for by the European vehicle manufacturers’ trade association, ACEA.

The German government welcomed the ‘integrated approach’ element of the proposals.

Its view mirrors that of the German automotive industry trade association, Verband der Automobilindusries (VDA).

dpa-AFX news said the VDA views the EU targets as extreme. VDA president Bernd Gottschalk said that the targets will involve massive investment and innovation and will place extremely difficult demands on all manufacturers.

The environmental lobby group, Transport & Environment, has accused the German automotive industry of ‘scare-mongering’.

The VDA said that the European Commission is considering variable limits for different vehicle segments.