LAWMAKERS and state officials have initially welcomed a law proposal from opposition DISY and the Green Party to impose a ceiling on the number of carbon dioxide emissions from state and government officials’ cars.

If all goes to plan, the new regulations should come into force after Easter, Green Party MP George Perdikis said yesterday.

The proposal - submitted to the House Watchdog Committee on Tuesday – provides for state officials and public servants’ cars to emit no more than 120 grammes of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g/km). They will have 1.6-litre to 1.8-litre engines.

Furthermore, Perdikis suggested that ministers, police officers and officials from semi-government organisations are included in the new law.

His suggestion, which will either be embodied in the proposal or drafted as a separate law, will see ministers, permanent secretaries and the heads of independent state services drive 2-litre to 2.2-litre engines, emitting 145g/km. Currently, officials have anything between a 2.5-litre and 3-litre cars.

“The proposal basically states that cars purchased by the government should have ecological specifications and low emissions,” Perdikis said yesterday. 

“There was a positive response to the proposal,” he added. “Most likely after Easter we will put it to the vote.”

During the parliamentary discussion, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry disagreed with Perdikis’ suggestion to include ministers in the list, saying there was a protocol approved by the Cabinet stating that ministers should use cars with 2.7-litre to 3.2-litre engines.

However, this was brushed aside by deputies, who insisted ministers would be included in the new law, independent of the protocol.

Also present was Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou, who said the proposal would save the state money as well as protect the environment.

He added that when he took over his post, he returned his fuel-guzzling service car and decided to use his own hybrid car. “The amount I save in fuel is massive,” Theopemptou told MPs.


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