Summary: The European Parliament's Environment Committee adopted two reports on December 10 on monitoring carbon dioxide emissions from new passenger cars and consumer information on comparative fuel efficiency, two proposals intended to augment the Community's legislative arsenal for reducing CO2 emissions. The two reports are to be put to the vote during the Parliament's December 14 to 18 plenary session in Strasbourg, and the Council of Environment Ministers may adopt a common position when it convenes on December 21. The proposals were the object of a wide-ranging policy debate at the previous Ministerial session on October 6. The European Union's Economic and Social Committee (ESC) has also issued an Opinion demanding further action - including fiscal incentives - to enhance the effectiveness of the system for monitoring CO2 emissions.

The report by Marie-Paule Kestelijn-Sierens (ELDR, Belgium) concerns the proposal for a Council Directive on informing consumers of the comparative fuel-efficiency of new passenger cars (fuel-economy labelling of cars), and is intended to help persuade consumers to opt for the most fuel-efficient models. The proposal provides for the attachment of a fuel economy label to new passenger cars and the production of a guide containing fuel economy data on new cars and listing the ten most fuel-efficient new cars. The Directive also provides for the display of posters at the point of sale giving fuel economy information on the cars on show, and the inclusion of fuel consumption data in all printed promotional material, used by manufacturers. The Parliamentary Committee tabled a series of amendments intended primarily to ensure the provision of specific information on CO2 emissions, delete the need to provide information on estimated fuel costs...

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