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2005/0283(COD) - 24/06/2008 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted a report drafted by Dan JØRGENSEN (PES, DK) and amended the revised proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles.

The main amendments – adopted at 1st reading of the codecision procedure – are as follows:

Scope: according to MEPs, the scope of the directive should cover the retrofitting of type-approved road transport vehicles with engines and replacement parts. In order to promote the replacement of old or polluting vehicles, as well as innovation, and ensure the beneficial effects of the proposed measure, the engines and the replacement parts should apply to those vehicles which have not exceeded 75% of their total lifetime mileage. State aid for the procurement of road transport vehicles should comply with EC rules.

Exemptions: the following vehicles should be exempt from the scope of this Directive: i)vehicles providing vital emergency services (e.g. ambulances, fire and rescue vehicles); ii) vehicles which are used by authorities/operators to provide operational support and to maintain infrastructure in connection with local public transport such as special vehicles used to maintain overhead cables.

Lifetime costs calculated: the Directive requires all public procurers – or actors acting on behalf of or under licence from the public sector – to calculate not only the purchase price but also the lifetime costs for fuel, CO2 emissions and air pollution, and to use those as a criterion for purchase. According to MEPs, energy consumption costs, and the costs arising from CO2 and pollutant emissions, should be treated as a voluntary criterion to enable purchasers to select tenders that are environmentally friendly as well as offering the best value for money.

Label: local, regional or national authorities which procure clean and energy efficient vehicles in respect of at least 75% of their annual specific procurement may use the label 'clean and energy efficient urban road transport'. The Commission shall establish a uniform design for this label.

Subsidiarity: Member States may apply more stringent award criteria to the procurement of clean and energy efficient vehicles, and may elect to purchase reconditioned vehicles or have existing vehicles modernised.

Additional support for the public sector: Member States should undertake to inform public sector employees of the merits of alternative fuelled vehicles. They should also encourage and support suppliers of alternative fuels to make replacement fuels widely available to the public.

Transparency:MEPs have introduced a number of amendments with a view to strengthening transparency and public access to information, and improving the scope for comparison. The Commission shall encourage the dissemination of best practice to enable policies to be drawn up in the area of clean and energy efficient public transport services, by setting up an EU Internet site, in order to move gradually towards the application of standardised Community-wide criteria to the procurement of vehicles by the entities covered by this Directive. The Commission shall publish on the Internet site all relevant information related to the financial instruments available in the individual Member States for urban mobility and for the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles.

Financial instruments: MEPs call on the Commission to develop a European climate protection fund, which shall be used, inter alia, to encourage the purchase of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles by authorities and operators. The competent budgetary authorities shall set aside appropriate resources in the EU budget.

Review and assessment of the impact of the Directive: a number of amendments have been proposed by the committee to ensure specific follow-up and evaluation of the impact on the market and the environment. The Commission shall: i) no later than 3 years after the date of entry into force, and every two years thereafter, prepare a report on the application of this Directive and on the actions taken by individual Member States to promote the procurement of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles; ii) assess the effects of this Directive including quantitative indicators to evaluate the environmental benefits, the reporting by Member States and the need for further action, and include proposals as appropriate; iii) compare the nominal and relative figures of vehicles purchased corresponding to the best market alternative in terms of overall lifetime costs, including external costs, within each of the four categories of vehicles to the overall market for these vehicles.

Implementation:  MEPs state that it should be possible to introduce and use the prescribed method for calculating lifetime costs as early as 2010 (instead of 2012) so that the environmental and market effects can come into force as quickly as possible.