BRUSSELS -- The Czech Republic has convened a meeting of transport ministers from 12 European Union countries that are seeking to challenge a proposed law to cut vehicle emissions.
The meeting will also discuss a separate row over the bloc's 2035 deadline to effectively ban internal combustion engine cars
Apart from the Czech Republic, those invited to attend the meeting are Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain, an EU official told Reuters. The countries have not yet said whether their ministers will attend.
The meeting was initially planned to discuss a proposed EU law to tighten limits for vehicle emissions of health-harming pollutants including nitrogen oxides -- a policy known as Euro 7. The Czech Republic, some other EU countries and industry groups have said it is unrealistic and question its environmental benefits.
Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka said on Monday, March 13 he will meet in Strasbourg with the ministers of transport of the countries that also have reservations about the proposed Euro 7 emission standard.
"We will discuss the basic points of the joint position for negotiations on changing the standard," Kupka said on Twitter.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said last month that the proposed Euro 7 standards are "useless" and counterproductive at a time when the auto industry is struggling to produce affordable electric cars.
Tavares has previously criticized the Euro 7 standards as a waste of time and money, as they would require automakers to invest in catalytic converters and particulate filters, as well as electronics controls to cut emissions in fossil-fuel models that the European Union intends to ban as of 2035 anyway.
The meeting on Monday will also discuss the EU's proposed law to end sales of new CO2-emitting cars in 2035.
The bloc's main policy to speed up Europe's shift to electric vehicles was put on hold earlier this week after last-minute opposition from Germany delayed a final vote, which has yet to be rescheduled.
Germany has sought assurances that sales will be allowed of new cars with internal combustion engines after 2035, if they run on CO2-neutral fuels such as e fuels.
The German intervention surprised policymakers, since the European Parliament, the executive Commission and EU member states agreed the car CO2 law last year after months of negotiations.
The Czech Republic, which also has a significant auto industry, has also sought exemptions for synthetic fuels in return for its support in limiting combustion engines.
Other opponents of the car CO2 law include Italy and Poland. Since Germany signaled its opposition, an increasing number of other countries in the 27-member bloc have sided with them EU officials said.