Disappointment over EC Joint Research Centre’s presentation at first hearing on car emissions
The official hearings of the EMIS Committee of Inquiry started yesterday and the first presentations came from the European Commission's in-house research service Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
The JRC already provided evidence on diesel cars' mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions exceedances in 2011 when they published a report on Portable Emission Measurement Systems.
On the behalf of the GUE/NGL EMIS members, the GUE/NGL Coordinator for the Committee, Merja Kyllönen, expressed her disappointment over the actions, or rather the lack of action, from the JRC: “They had the Commission's mandate to study the difference between cars' NOx emissions in laboratory testing and in real driving conditions. A big difference in the emissions was detected and yet nothing concrete was done by the Commission or the member states to reduce the NOx emissions.”
Cypriot MEP, Neoklis Sylikiotis, added that in an additional report from the JRC published in 2013, “there is clear evidence of the possibility to falsify the results of emissions measurements. Therefore, the JRC had the responsibility to take a more active role in informing the Commission and the member states of these findings.”
The MEPs' concerns are escalating amidst new revelations of emissions reporting fraud from Mitsubishi today. While it remains to be seen whether the Mitsubishi scandal affects cars sold in Europe, fraud in car emissions reporting is clearly a much more widespread problem than it was previously understood to be.
Meanwhile, the other organisation heard in the EMIS Committee of Inquiry yesterday, the ICCT, provided good scientific information to increase the committee members' understanding of the complexity of diesel engines' NOx emissions.
Kyllönen added: “I really hope we can continue to rely on the help and scientific understanding of the ICCT in future”.
The GUE/NGL EMIS Committee members Merja Kyllönen (Finland), Kateřina Konečná (Czech Republic) and Neoklis Sylikiotis (Cyprus), as well as their substitute members, Dennis de Jong (Netherlands), Cornelia Ernst (Germany) and Paloma López Bermejo (Spain), will continue to ask probing questions to the witnesses and experts in order to dig deep into this emissions scandal.
GUE/NGL will also hold events relating to car emissions scandals in the near future, focusing on the car industry workers' and European consumers' perspectives on this scandal.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20