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Filed under: Euro, Government/Legal, Green
European car ads are always mentioning how many grams of CO2 a car emits because more than twelve European countries tax drivers based on those emissions. Germany, home to a cadre of automakers for which CO2 parsimony is not a prime consideration, has held out from the carbon dioxide taxation scheme, until now. The leading government coalition has finally agreed on a plan to tax CO2 output.

The only problem is that it doesn't really change much of the scheme already in place, and it's hit-and-miss. This, naturally, has Germany's environmental parties calling foul, yet the nation's domestic producers like VW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW initially gotten the government to consider lowering the taxes on gas guzzlers. In that light, the new taxation proposal could be seen as a victory, albeit a small one.

As it stands, the yearly tax will be calculated based on engine size and emissions, and smaller-engined, cleaner vehicles will pay less tax. An Opel Agila owner with a 1.2-liter engine and 120 gm/km would save €75, nearly a 40% discount from the current system. The owner of a V12 Audi Q7 wouldn't pay any more under the new regulations; however, someone buying a Mercedes GLK -- with a 3.5-liter V6, the biggest option available -- would pay 4.7% more.

The new taxing system will go into effect July 1 of this year. Although it now brings Germany into line with a majority of its European partners, if the greens have anything to say about it the issue is nowhere near being put to rest.

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