(Reuters) German foreign minister sigmar Gabriel has told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that he is against any toughening of European car emissions targets by 2025, warning that stricter rules would cost jobs and growth.
German carmaker Volkswagen's VOWG_p.DE admission in 2015 that it used software to cheat U.S. diesel emission tests also highlighted the laxness of the EU's own tests and prompted the European Commission to seek broader supervisory powers, including the ability to impose fines on carmakers.
Gabriel, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD) who went into opposition after a Sept. 24 federal election, wrote to Juncker saying the auto sector was a key industry for Germany and a worldwide guarantor of jobs and growth.
Don’t stifle innovation
"It is therefore very important to me that we do not stifle the innovation power of the automotive industry by overly tight EU legislation," Gabriel said in the letter seen by Reuters.
Gabriel said there should be a review in 2025 of the progress towards 2030 auto emission reduction targets, rather than have binding goals already in 2025.
He added that any forms of quotas for electric vehicles (EVs) as well as a toughening of the EU's car emissions goals by more than 20 percent by 2025 would be dangerous.