As negotiations on the EU review of the CO2 emissions from cars regulation commences the steel industry calls on the Council to uphold Parliament’s recent amendment acknowledging the importance of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in emissions legislation after 2020.

On 24 April, in its vote on the review of CO2 emissions from cars legislation (443/2009), the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) acknowledged the need to take into account ‘greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy supply and the life cycle of the vehicle’ in regulations after 2020.

WorldAutoSteel, the automotive group of the World Steel Association, welcomed this amendment and calls on Member States to support it during the negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and Commission (trialogue) set to begin 22 May.

The current regulation focuses solely on the emissions produced during the car’s driving phase. However, this approach may lead to the unintended consequence of increasing greenhouse gas emissions during the vehicle’s total life cycle as the emissions contribution from the fuel cycle, vehicle production and disposal are not being considered. A growing number of scientific studies show that already 16% of all emissions relating to passenger cars are not covered by tailpipe regulation. This figure is likely to more than double in the future as cars become more fuel efficient and alternative powertrains are expected in the market.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) of emissions is therefore critical to a complete picture of a vehicle carbon footprint. It will primarily assist automakers in evaluating and reducing the total energy consumed as well as the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of their products.

WorldAutoSteel Director Cees ten Broek said: “As a global industry we are committed to developing solutions that provide design flexibility to car manufacturers while at the same time meeting their challenges for improving fuel economy and reducing green- house gas emissions. To be able to do this on a level playing field, together with other materials we need better regulation. This has clearly been acknowledged by the European Parliament and requires now the support of the Council - we are confident that this recognition will be confirmed in the upcoming negotiations in the EU. We are looking forward to embarking on a fruitful dialogue on LCA with both regulators and car manufacturers”.