Tough new carbon dioxide (CO2) emission targets have been approved by the European Parliament, but their introduction has been delayed by a year amid pressure from German vehicle manufacturers.

The European Commission has welcomed the European Parliament’s endorsement of the new target of 95 g/km of CO2 in 2021 following lobbying by German car manufacturers.

The target, which the Commission says is achievable in a cost effective manner by employing technologies that are available today, is averaged across the whole of the car fleet, so cars emitting more than the target need to be compensated by cars that emit less than the target.

The new car CO2 emissions 2021 target represents a reduction of 27% compared with the 2015 target of 130 g/km. Car emissions have already been reduced from 159 g/km in 2007 to 132 g/km in 2012.

The new target has been described as a “win-win” by the European Commission. For manufacturers it means they can retain their competitive advantage through building low-emitting cars at prices their customers can afford, while car owners, it is claimed, can very quickly recoup any increase in purchase price by improved vehicle MPG.

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