EU chief: ‘Don’t drive as I do, drive as I say’By Bruno Waterfield in BrusselsLast Updated: 10:42am GMT 07/03/2007The president of the European Commission was forced to defend himself yesterday against allegations of hypocrisy for owning a gas-guzzling 4×4 vehicle while Brussels steps up its campaign against vehicles which pollute the atmosphere. José Manuel Barroso, EU chief: ‘Don’t drive as I do, drive as I say’José Manuel Barroso insisted that fightingclimate change was about ‘collective action’José Manuel Barroso, who owns a Volkswagen Touareg, said: “I have never spoken of myself as an example to anybody – today’s moralistic approach is not mine.”The president’s German-built 4×4 emits high levels of CO2, running at up to 356 grams per kilometre, well above a 130 g limit Brussels is seeking to impose on the car industry by 2012.Mr Barroso insisted that fighting climate change was about “collective action” and voiced concern that a focus on an individual’s CO2 usage could be a “slippery slope”.”If we start now creating the idea that for every person we establish a certificate of good behaviour there is a risk that tomorrow it is not only ecological behaviour, it is family behaviour, sexual behaviour,” he said.”I do not believe that is the kind of society that we want. We have to respect the freedom of individuals, of families.”Mr Barroso’s views seem to clash with calls from David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, that carbon allowances for individual cars should be set at the EU level.advertisementThe commission’s car fleet of 85 vehicles, with average emissions of more than 258 g per km, have led to accusations of bad faith.Günter Verheugen, the German Industry Commissioner, has cautioned against “hysterical action” to cut CO2 vehicle emissions that could damage jobs in his country’s car manufacturing sector.Mr Verheugen, who cannot drive, uses an official commission car, a BMW 730 diesel, which runs at around 230 g/km.Peter Mandelson, the British Trade Commissioner, does not own a private car but uses an official, fuel-thirsty Jaguar.Only Stavros Dimas, the Greek Environment Commissioner, wears his heart on his sleeve. He privately owns and drives a Honda Jazz which emits an eco-friendly 129 g/km to 137 g/km.Europe’s leaders meet in Brussels tomorrow to set binding CO2 reduction targets for the European Union as a whole.

EU chief: ‘Don’t drive as I do, drive as I say’ | Uk News | News | Telegraph

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