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European Commission unveils tough CO2 strategy ahead of 'green crimes' proposal

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] unveiled a mandatory CO2 emissions strategy [EC Communication, PDF; materials; press release] Wednesday that would impose mandatory carbon dioxide (CO2) limits on all cars by 2012. Today's average European car emits approximately 160 grams of CO2 per kilometer; the new strategy would curb emissions at around 130 grams per kilometer. The strategy is a compromise agreement between the EC's Environmental and Industry Commissioners reached at a Wednesday Commission meeting [agenda, PDF], and while auto industry leaders say the limits could impact job growth, environmental advocates hailed the limits as an important step toward addressing climate change [EC materials]. If the 130 g/km standard is enacted, Europe's emissions standards would be the most stringent in the world. The EC will now begin drafting the law, and a vote is expected either this year or early next year. EUObserver has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

Meanwhile EC Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini [official website] is set to announce a "green crimes" proposal Friday which would criminalize nine environmental offences, including waste dumping, releasing toxic chemicals, causing significant environmental depletion, and possessing endangered animals. The most serious offenses could be subject to between one and ten years imprisonment and to fines up to €1.5m. The Independent has more.

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