MEPs reject ‘relaxing’ diesel emission test limits

New standards for diesel car emissions in the EU have been rejected by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. They argue the decision to raise emission limits for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

New standards for diesel car emissions in the EU have been rejected by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.

They argue the decision to raise emission limits for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) by up to 110% along with the introduction of the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure are “relaxed” and would “undermine the enforcement of existing EU standards”.

The new RDE procedure, agreed by EU governments in October this year, is designed to allow for a more realistic testing of car emissions by using a portable device and performing the test on the road. It has been planned to run from September 2017.

The current laboratory-based procedure is said to suffer from a number of loopholes.

MEPs, who can force change to the rules, believe the current plans are “neither explained nor justified”.

They stress recent air pollution statistics from the European Environment Agency show 75,000 premature deaths were the result of NO2 emissions in Europe, with 93% occurring close to roads.

The Volkswagen scandal, which saw the company use a software to cheat emissions tests, led the EU to reassess its testing procedures.