Thousands of jobs at Jaguar Land Rover have been protected today after Conservative MEPs secured a crucial exemption for the company from the EU's punitive emission plans.
MEPs approved plans today which aim to cut 40% of CO2 emissions from vehicles by 2030 and punish car manufacturers incapable of producing enough zero and low emission vehicles. Conservative MEPs secured an exemption for manufacturers that produce less than 300,000 vehicles, like the UK's Jaguar Land Rover, who would have been immediately fined by the EU for being unable to comply.
Conservative Environment Spokesman, John Procter MEP, said: "The UK supports ambitious targets to cut CO2 emissions but not at the expense of the British car industry. These measures would not allow medium-sized car manufacturers the time they need to produce zero and lower emission vehicles. I am pleased that today we've secured an exemption for Jaguar Land Rover which will safeguard more than 40,000 jobs in the UK.
"The European Commission's proposal to cut 30% of vehicle emissions by 2030 simply isn't ambitious enough if we are to combat climate change and improve air quality in our cities. That's why Conservative MEPs backed a more ambitious target of 35% as part of a package that included the exemption for Jaguar Land Rover. However, we are concerned a 40 per cent target, tied to punitive penalties, may be a step too far at this stage and further threaten jobs.
"By securing measures to safeguard the British car industry we've strengthened the UK's hand in the European Council. Now, the UK government can turn its attention to delivering a workable and ambitious EU plan to cut car emissions."
"I want the UK to be the leading producer of zero and lower emission vehicles but this can't be achieved with rigid targets, fines and penalties as these proposals set out. Instead, it must be led by the industry and consumers."