BELGIUM: CLEPA appeals for EC not to "navigate in the mist" on CO2 targets

By Simon Warburton | 29 November 2013

European automotive supplier body, CELPA, says it is keeping neutral in the row between Mercedes-Benz and France concerning the contentious refrigerant issue, while also appealing for political expediency surrounding CO2 targets.

The coolant row raged for most of the summer and bedeviled both warring factions, but despite CLEPA's wish to stay out of the fray, it  maintains it will reexamine the controversial subject.

Mercedes squared up to a powerful coalition of the French government, chemical providers and what appeared to be tacit support from the European Commission (EC), in the bitter dispute that saw the German manufacturer take issue with the r1234yf coolant as opposed to its preferred r134a variant.

"There were discussions on refrigerant - we are certainly going to rediscuss this," CLEPA CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, told just-auto on the sidelines of this week's fifth Aftermarket Conference organised by the supplier body in Brussels. We kept out of the issue."

Sticking to his environmental theme, Gales also reacted to moves by European Member States to potentially delay introduction of tough new CO2 rules requiring 95g emissions targets by 2021 instead of the previously-mooted 2020.

"We need to see obviously, that policymakers in the EC and Parliament have been well aware of the impact of the issue and of the fact we need a solution," said Gales.

"To get planning certainty for the automotive industry. But we need to wait to Friday to see whether this proposal will be finally accepted.

"I would ask policymakers to make their decision this Friday on this important issue, because we just can't allow our industry to navigate in the mist."