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Eva Kjer Hansen demands less pollution from new diesel vehicles

At today’s Council meeting, Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Eva Kjer Hansen, will demand better tests of diesel vehicles. Her goal is to get a majority behind a new draft proposal from the European Commission. Denmark has been calling for the draft proposal for some time.

Published 26. October 2015

Diesel vehicles pollute roads more than current tests show. The Danish Minister is looking to correct this situation.

At the Council meeting today in Luxembourg, the Minister is seeking support from her European colleagues for a new proposal from the European Commission to implement new, tighter requirements for environmental tests of diesel vehicles.

“I’m calling for rapid introduction of new, tighter test methods to measure actual emissions on the road, and not only in manufacturers’ laboratories. The Commission has now relented, and has now submitted the draft proposal for which Denmark has been urging. Today it’s about getting my colleagues to back rapid implementation of the improved tests, so that we don’t have to wait ten or fifteen years for the new test methods to be fully phased in,” said Eva Kjer Hansen.

The Commission has just reported that, if there is support for the proposal from Member States, it intends to submit a proposal for a tightening of the rules for approval by Member States on 28 October 2015. The draft proposal will be submitted in the wake of repeated calls from Denmark, among others. In partnership with Austria, Denmark has taken initiative to have the matter discussed at the Council meeting.

“Denmark has been calling for more realistic tests for many years. The Commission’s proposal takes us half-way there. Now we face the final part of the journey; to get Member States to vote in favour of the draft proposal,” said Eva Kjer Hansen.

The Volkswagen case has revealed that the current rules are being willfully bypassed, and it’s likely that this could have been avoided if the Danish call to tighten the rules had been listened to.

Further information

Michael Dahl Nielsen, Press Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Food, tel.: +45 50 83 76 75, email:


Earlier this year, the EU adopted new test procedures to measure emissions from diesel vehicles in realistic driving conditions on the road. In principle, these enter into force on 1 January 2016, but the European Commission has yet to decide the length of the phase-in period for the new tests, and how they are to be conducted in practice.

The Danish Minister for Environment and Food has urged that the new test methods be negotiated into place by the EU so that they can apply from 2017. The EU has decided that, from 2016, all new vehicles are to be tested using the ’Real Driving Emissions’ (RDE) method, which reflects to a high degree the actual emissions of harmful NOx from vehicles under realistic conditions. However, the EU has yet to specify how the new tests are to be conducted, acceptable levels of uncertainty, and the length of the transitional period.

The Commission has submitted a draft proposal for final examination and delivery of opinion for introducing Real Driving Emission (RDE) test procedures into Euro 5/6 Regulation 692/2008/EC by the Member States in the EU Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles on 28 October 2015. 

The Danish Minister for Environment and Food will take up the matter at the Council meeting in Luxembourg today in order to put pressure on the other Member States to vote in favour of the new rules, so that launch of the new test methods can be adopted as quickly as possible.

The aim is to get auto manufacturers to demonstrate as quickly as possible that emissions from new vehicles during real driving conditions reflect the emission limits applicable for the relevant type of vehicle. The Ministry of Environment and Food is responsible in Denmark for tightening of testing and compliance requirements in the EU.