August 29, 2006

EU warns car makers over slack CO2 emissions cuts

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European and Asian auto makers must do
more to meet voluntary targets to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions from new cars or face possible legislative action,
the European Union's executive said on Tuesday.

The European Commission said average CO2 emissions from new
cars in the 15 "old" EU member states in 2004 were down 12.4
percent from 1995 levels, far off the target of a roughly 25
percent cut by 2008/09.

"The current situation is by no means satisfactory,"
Commission spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber told a daily briefing,
reiterating the Commission would consider binding legislative
targets if necessary.

"We could, theoretically, bring in legislation."

The 2004 figures showed a slight improvement from 2003,
when new car emissions were down 11.8 percent from 1995 levels.

European car makers have agreed to reduce C02 emissions
from new cars to an average of 140 g/km by 2008, while Japanese
and Korean manufacturers have agreed to meet that goal by 2009.
The target represents a cut of around 25 percent from 1995

The agreements are part of the 25-country EU's efforts to
meet its commitments to fight climate change and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Under Kyoto, the EU's 15 "old" member states must reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 8 percent below 1990 levels by

The Commission said cars were responsible for more than 10
percent of the EU's CO2 emissions.