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EMISSIONS REGS: New Euro CO2 target

Date: 07 February 2007

Car manufacturers ranked by CO2 reduction

The European Commission will reveal today a new, tougher, CO2 targets for car makers.

The expected new target will be set at an average of 130g/km for each manufacturer which must be reached by 2012. The target represents an 18% cut on current figures.

The target is 10g/km higher than the initial 120g/km suggested, but the remaining reduction is expected to come from increased use of biofuels.

Cuts by the car makers will come in the form of new technology, which the manufacturers have suggested will hit car buyers to the tune of several thousand pounds per vehicle.

The current average across all carmakers is just below the 160g/km mark, with a voluntary target set for next year at 140g/km looking increasingly unlikely to be reached.

These new targets were supposed to have been revealed on 24 January, but the legislation has been held up because European Commissioners are understood to have been discussing whether the regulations should be binding. The result of this argument should be made public today (7 February).

Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas's 2012 targets would force each manufacturer to balance sales of thirsty 4x4s with ultra-frugal superminis.

The plans have been denounced as "unachievable and unpalatable" by the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, who accuse the EU of making car buying decisions for us.

"If the only cars we can reasonably afford are the likes of small Citroen diesels, that has serious implications for how the market works," said spokesman Nigel Wonnacott. He also warned that new car costs would soar as new green technology was rushed forward.

Fiat, Citroen and Renault currently have the lowest average CO2 outputs, with Audi, Mazda and Nissan performing poorly on CO2 emissions.