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MEPs and council presidency reach deal on CO2

The European Parliament and EU member states have agreed a deal to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars, which weakens original proposals made by the European Commission and gives car manufacturers an extra two years to meet emissions targets.

The Commission had proposed a target of an average of 120g of CO2/km for the whole industry by 2012, compared to current levels of 160g/km. A target of 130g/km was to be reached by improvements to vehicle motor technology, and a further 10g/km reduction through technical improvements such as better tyres and the use of biofuels.

However, the compromise agreed during negotiations introduces interim targets, meaning only 65% of a manufacturer’s fleet must reach these targets by January 2012, 75% by January 2013, 80% by January 2014 and 100% by 2015.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and member states also set a long-term target of an average of 95g/km CO2 by 2020 for the new car fleet.

Manufacturers will face fines, or ‘excess emissions premiums’, for every gram by which their fleets miss the targets, multiplied by the number of vehicles sold.

From 2012 until 2018, the fine will be of €5 (£4.40p) for the first gram of CO2, €15 (£13) for the second gram of CO2, €25 (£22) for the third gram of CO2 and €95 (£83) from the fourth gram of CO2. From 2019, manufacturers will have to pay €95 (£83) for each gram exceeding the target.

The legislation will be voted on by all MEPs in a plenary session on December 15-18.

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