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Prior to the past two years, Luxembourg made considerable progress in reducing private vehicle CO2 emissions. Photo: LanaElcova/Shutterstock
A shift in consumer habits towards petrol over diesel vehicles has helped push up the average CO2 emissions of private vehicles.
Mobility minister François Bausch (déi gréng) wrote in response to a parliamentary question from Yves Cruchten (LSAP) that new vehicles registered in 2018 emitted on average 132.1g CO2/km, a figure above the EU cap of 130 grams. What is more, CO2 emissions are increasing, up from 127.64g in 2016.
“This growth is directly linked with the fact that consumers have started opting for petrol vehicles instead of diesel. In effect, in 2018, 48.9% of newly registered vehicles were petrol, and 46.9% were diesel,” Bausch explained. “CO2 emissions for available petrol models are frequently higher than for diesel models.”
Prior to the past two years, Luxembourg made considerable progress in reducing private vehicle CO2 emissions, forcing the figure down by 27% from 2001, when average emissions of new vehicles reached a staggering 175g CO2/km, to 2016.
0.3% of EU CO2 emissions
But it is not alone in its transgression. According to EU data gathering body Eurostat, it is one of eight member states to record an increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion (not only from vehicle use). Luxembourg generated 0.3% of the EU’s CO2 emissions in 2018, recording an increase of 3.7%. The biggest polluters were Germany (22.5%), Italy (10%), France (10%), UK (11.4%) and Poland (10.3%). They all succeeded in reducing their emissions, with the exception of Poland, where CO2 emissions rose by 3.5% from 2017-2018.
The grand duchy has a task on its hands if it is to hit the next EU average target cap of 95g CO2/km for newly registered vehicles in 2021.
In recent years, decision-makers have tried to push electric, hybrid and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, by offering financial incentives on vehicles whose emissions don’t exceed 50g CO2/km. While interest is growing, in 2018 they represented less than 5% of vehicles sold.