EU ambassadors have agreed to phase in emission curbs to 2015 and can now enter negotiations with the European Parliament to reach a final deal this year, Reuters reports.
However, there was no agreement on how much to fine automakers who fail to comply. Italy has complained before that its automakers may be endangered by new regulations. It has been fighting hard for its automakers because it is unhappy that smaller cars have been given more ambitious emission targets than bigger cars. Italy has also made it clear that it would only back the EU’s overall plan to tackle climate change if it was satisfied with the regulations on cars.
Most other EU nations, including major automakers France, Germany and Britain, have agreed to the EU’s carbon plans. But Greenpeace campaigner, Franziska Achterberg, told Reuters that EU governments had made too many concessions for the auto industry. “European governments have signaled that they would not only allow carmakers to continue business-as-usual in the face of climate change, but also reward their irresponsibility with a 40 billion euros ($51.11 billion) loan package.”
Clean Green Cars says EU’s target of reducing emissions to 130 g/km of CO2 by 2012 target is possible at the present rate of decline.