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2005/0283(COD) - 12/06/2008 Debate in Council

The Council reached a general approach on a draft directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles.  The aim is to promote the market for clean and energy efficient vehicles and improve the transport sector's contribution to fulfilling the EU's environment, climate and energy policies. The directive will require authorities and public passenger transport operators to take energy consumption, CO2 emission and other pollutant emissions into account when purchasing a vehicle.

The Council's preparatory bodies made several changes to the Commission's proposal, in particular by re-defining the scope and by introducing the requirement for authorities and operators to take energy and environment impacts into account when purchasing a vehicle while allowing the application of different options for fulfilling this requirement.

The scope of the draft directive has been re-defined in order to achieve coherence with the public procurement directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC and the public service obligations regulation (EC) 1370/2007. The Commission proposed that authorities and operators should apply a single harmonised method of calculation of lifetime costs when vehicles are purchased without setting any further requirement as to the energy and environmental impact of the purchased vehicle.

The text agreed by the Council requires authorities and operators to take energy and environmental impacts into account when purchasing a road transport vehicle - including at least the energy consumption, the CO2 emissions and the pollutant emissions - and provides for two options to fulfil this requirement. These options are:

a) setting of technical specifications for energy and environmental performance in the documentation for the purchase of road transport vehicles or including energy;

b) environmental impacts in the purchasing decision. In cases where a procurement procedure is applied, this must be done by using these impacts as award criteria and in cases where these impacts are monetised for inclusion in the purchasing decision, a harmonised methodology as set out in the draft directive needs to be used.

Such flexibility as to the options will permit the purchasing authorities and operators to reflect better the diversity of local environmental issues and priorities. Member States will have two years from the entry into force of the directive to transpose its provisions.