EU top court rejects plea of cities to control car emissions
The European Union's top court dismissed a complaint that was brought by the cities of Brussels, Madrid and Paris against the European Commission in which they accused the latter of setting car emissions limits for nitrogen oxides too high.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) overruled an earlier judgement that went in the favour of the cities from the General Court, the EU's second-highest chamber, which prompted an appeal by Germany, Hungary and the commission. The case involves the commission's introduction after the 2015 Dieselgate scandal of real driving emissions testing to complement laboratory procedures and its setting of emission limits on nitrogen oxides for light passenger and commercial vehicles.
Following this, the cities complained that the limits were higher than the Euro 6 standard that applies to light vehicles registered since 2015. Hence, they conveyed that it undermined their abilities to regulate the circulation of vehicles in an effort to reduce air pollution. Earlier, the General Court supported their view, however, they overturned the General Court's ruling.
The CJEU found that the commission's direction only concerning registration and sale of vehicles and not their circulation on roads, hence the cities were not directly concerned by the legislation. However, the higher court stated that cities can limit the circulation of vehicles in order to protect the environment without violating the EU law.
Meanwhile, an earlier report has stated that France has directed car advertisements to include messages that will encourage its citizens to consider less-polluting travel alternatives this year. This comes as a part of the government's drive to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. The move will be implemented from March. Automakers will be given three choices such as carpooling, opting for public transportation in case of day-to-day use and using cycle or considering walking for short trips.
(With inputs from Reuters)