'Green' CO2 label for cars blasted

Environmental groups have criticised a proposed German CO2 rating label that would put a high-emission Panzer tank in the same category as a Smart car.

Green pressure group Transport & Environment has called upon the EU to step in to block this legislation, which is being voted on in the German parliament.

The system calculates with its 'green' rating by measuring what the vehicle's CO2 emissions are in relation to their weight. So a Smart car, which weighs 750kg and produces emissions of 103 grams of CO2 per km, would be classed in the same category as a Panzer tank, which is 62,000kg and emits 5,850 grams per km.

Similarly, under the proposed system, the massive Audi Q7 would also be placed in the same green category as the Smart and the Fiat Panda, despite emitting two-and-a-half times more CO2 than the small cars.

The campaigners argue that the "green" badge given to such vehicles could mislead unsuspecting motorists into thinking they are buying a vehicle which is less polluting to the environment than it is.

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