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EU nears deal on car CO2 emissions

| Sourced From EurActiv |

The EU is getting closer to reaching an agreement to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, amid speculation that the bloc’s car-making countries have struck a deal to lower fines for manufacturers that fail to meet their CO2 targets.

The French EU Presidency, the European Parliament and the European Commission resumed talks yesterday (24 November) to thrash out an agreement on the main points of the proposed legislation. These include introducing emissions targets and setting out the proportion of the European fleet to which they will apply. It also foresees the establishment of a penalty system for non-compliance. “The trialogue was fruitful but it appears that this file will need further analysis,” Council sources told EurActiv.

The agreement will be a careful balancing act between the bloc’s environmental goals and the interests of the European car industry, currently weighed down by the economic crisis. The Council failed to reach agreement with the Parliament, which wants an ambitious long-term target for CO2 of 95g/km by 2020.

What national governments in the Council have agreed upon is a principle for which no figures have been established yet, a Council official said, adding that a lot of “fine-tuning” with the Parliament would be required.

It now seems likely that member states will approach the negotiations on the basis of a French proposal to limit CO2 emissions to 130 g/km for 65% of new cars in 2012, gradually rising to 100% in 2015. The French Presidency, which represents member states in the trialogue, is thereby championing the viewpoint of European carmakers, who have been pushing the EU to hold back its CO2 policy until 2015 and reduce fines for those only slightly above the target.

There was much speculation last week that the bloc’s big car-manufacturing countries (Italy, Britain, France and Germany) had teamed up to sign a deal on the gradual introduction of the legislation, as well as capping fines at


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