Alphabetical index
This page is available in 11 languages

We are migrating the content of this website during the first semester of 2014 into the new EUR-Lex web-portal. We apologise if some content is out of date before the migration. We will publish all updates and corrections in the new version of the portal.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

CO2 emission limits on new vehicles

The Commission is proposing to set a CO2 emission limit on vehicle manufacturers for new cars registered in the European Union in order to achieve the average objective of 130 g CO2/km. If this is exceeded, the manufacturer concerned will be liable for financial penalties.


Proposal of 19 December 2007 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.


This proposal fixes an average CO2 emission limit applicable to automotive manufacturers aimed at ensuring that average emissions of new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) do not exceed 130 g CO2/km from 2012 onwards.

This emission limit applies to new passenger cars (M1 category vehicles) from all manufacturers and is calculated as a function of their mass. The CO2 emission level is measured in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 on the approval of vehicles in view of their pollutant emissions. The emission limit value does not apply to each vehicle individually but to the average of all vehicles built by a manufacturer registered in the EU in one calendar year.

Manufacturers may form a pool in order to meet their targets. Where two or more manufacturers form a pool, the pool will be treated as if it is one manufacturer for the purposes of determining its compliance with the targets. To avoid adversely affecting competition, the information exchanged within the context of such pools must be limited to CO2 emissions and related objectives, and the number of vehicles registered.

From 2010, the Member States will be obliged to collect data on the number of new passenger cars registered, the average CO2 emissions of these vehicles, and their average mass and footprint, along with a breakdown of these data per model of car. This information must be sent to the Commission as from 2011. Based on this information, the Commission will keep a register from 2011 onwards showing all these data plus the average CO2 emissions from the previous year. This register will be publicly available.

From 2012 onwards, manufacturers who do not meet their targets must pay an "excess emissions premium" calculated according to:

  • the positive number of grams per kilometre by which the manufacturer's average specific emissions exceeded its specific emissions target,
  • the number of new passenger cars produced by that manufacturer and registered in that year,
  • the penalty amount for the year in question (20 for 2012, 35 for 2013, 60 for 2014 and 95 from 2015 onwards).

From 31 October 2011 onwards, the Commission shall publish a list indicating the performance for each manufacturer.

Derogations are allowed, for a maximum of five calendar years, for manufacturers who produce less than 10 000 cars per year and who are not connected to another manufacturer. Such manufacturers must propose a target consistent with their reduction potential, including the technological potential to reduce their specific emissions of CO2. The Commission will assess this proposal before deciding whether or not to grant a derogation.

In 2010, the Commission is to submit a report on the progress of the strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from light vehicles. It will also assess whether there has been a change in the mass of new passenger cars between 2006 and 2009 and, if applicable, amend the criteria for calculating emission limits.

From 1 January 2010, manufacturers must ensure that materials of the type referred to in Directive 1999/94/EC concerning consumer information relative to passenger cars indicate the extent to which the specific emissions of CO2 of the passenger car offered for sale differ from the specific emissions target for that passenger car.

With a view to simplification, the proposal intends to repeal Decision No 1753/2000/EC on monitoring emissions of CO2 from new passenger cars with effect from 1 January 2010.


The Commission's aim is to reduce average emissions from new passenger cars in the EU to 120 g of CO2/km. This proposal should enable a reduction to 130 g of CO2/km and complementary measures yet to be adopted by the EU should deliver a further reduction of 10 g/km.

The Commission first adopted a Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars in 1995. This strategy was based on three pillars: voluntary commitments from the car industry to cut emissions, improvements in consumer information and the promotion of fuel-efficient cars via fiscal measures.

In a Communication of February 2007, the Commission stated that the voluntary approach from car manufacturers was insufficient to meet the Community objective of average emissions from the new car fleet of 120 g of CO2/km and proposed a mandatory approach; this was endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council.



Official Journal


COM(2007) 856 - Codecision COD/2007/0297


Communication of 7 February 2007 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament entitled: "Results of the review of the Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles" [COM(2007) 19 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal of 5 July 2005 for a Council Directive on passenger car-related taxes [COM(2005) 261 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 25.03.2008
Legal notice | About this site | Search | Contact | Top