Maltese MEP Miriam Dalli was appointed as a member of a new European Parliament committee which will conduct an inquiry on car emissions. This new drive by the European Parliament aimed at clamping down on abuses by the car industry comes hot on the heels of the Volkswagen scandal last year.
Miriam Dalli, has been representing the Socialists and Democrats in the process of devising a new real driving emissions test for the past year and a half.
The committee, which was appointed directly by the European Parliament, will look into breaches of EU rules on car emission tests by car manufacturers and alleged enforcement failures by EU member states and the European Commission.
An initial report with conclusions will be tabled in summer whilst the full investigation will be finalised in a years’ time.
The inquiry committee will also look into the shortcomings by both member states authorities and the Commission in taking effective steps in enforcing the ban on “defeat devices”, the Commission’s failure to introduce realistic driving-conditions tests and the member states’ alleged failure on actions against manufacturers who are found responsible of infringements.
Meanwhile, whilst speaking in the European Parliament Dr Dalli criticised the latest stand taken by Commission which will lead to a higher level of acceptable pollution in our cities and villages. In her speech she explained how 9 years ago the EU approved a new law aimed at limiting emissions from vehicles on our roads, however today we have a clear attempt at overturning this law.
“In October a technical committee supposedly composed of national experts decided that it is fine to leave on our roads, vehicles that pollute twice the limit that was decided upon 9 years ago,” emphasized Miriam Dalli.
She stated that “politicians should be there to ensure our citizens’ well-being and most importantly our children’s health. I ask European leaders whether they are ready to bow their heads to the pressure that has been mounting and give their go ahead to cars emitting twice the amount of NOx in real driving conditions until 2020?”
The Maltese MEP also explained how the situation will not improve after 2020 since what the European Commission is proposing means only that after 2020 cars will still continue polluting much more than what was decided 9 years ago.
“This is not the time to succumb to lobby pressure. 9 years is enough time for the car industry to regulate itself and the European Commission needs to give priority to our citizens’ health,” concluded Dr Dalli.