The European Union struck a compromise agreement to carry out stricter rules on carbon dioxide emissions for all new EU vehicles from 2020. What is left now is the official endorsement of EU members states of the new rules that call for a target of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, which is equivalent to fuel usage of 4 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers; 59 mpg in the US; and 71 mpg in the UK.
The final stages of negotiations, however, are expected to meet some hurdles. For instance, Germany wants to ensure that its luxury carmakers, like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, can still build less fuel efficient vehicles. Ireland, holder of the rotating EU presidency, remarked the compromise deal carries the right balance between environmental objectives and economic considerations.
Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan said in a statement that the compromise agreement represents a win-win for "climate, consumers, innovation and jobs" and provides another important step "towards a competitive, low-carbon economy." Under the target, each carmaker is assigned a target to take account of the nature of their fleet and their past cuts. Germany, however, claims that producing less-polluting cars is costly and limits profit margins. Last week, EU member states denied Germany's plan that would have allowed carmakers to carry over credits to pollute accrued before the new rules are enforced in 2020. [source: Reuters]