Carbon dioxide emissions (Yonhap)
South Korean carmakers called on the European Union to be considerate in adopting stricter regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions due to a possible impact on the automobile industry and consumers' rights, a local industry association said Wednesday.
Last month, the European Commission released its "Fit for 55" legislation package aimed at cutting net greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, higher than the previously set 40-percent target.
The EU aims to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles in 2035 as part of efforts to achieve the economic bloc's goal to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
But EU members, such as Germany, France and Italy, raised objection to the drastic 2035 plan that also prohibits the sale of less-emitting gasoline hybrid and plug-in hybrid models as the automobile industry contributes much to their economic growth, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) said in a statement.
KAMA said the sales ban of combustion engine cars will significantly restrict consumers' choices and carmakers' capability to develop non-electric but fuel-efficient vehicles.
KAMA asked the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association to continue to exempt South Korea from the "Fit for 55" package as the country has suffered a trade deficit in vehicle trades with Europe and is developing its own emissions trading system (ETS).
The ETS, also known as cap and trade, works by putting a limit on overall emissions that are reduced each year. Within this limit, companies can buy and sell emission allowances. This framework provides companies with the flexibility to cut their emissions in the most cost-effective way. (Yonhap)