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Brussels,12 February 2004

CO2 emissions from new cars in the EU down by more than 10% since 1995

CO2 emissions from new passenger cars sold in the EU decreased by 10.8% between 1995 and 2002. The 4th Annual Report on CO2 Emissions from New Cars, adopted by the European Commission today, shows that the car industry has made progress in meeting its commitments from the voluntary agreements with the Commission to produce cars that emit less CO2. The EU's goal is to reach a 35% reduction by 2010 at the latest. While European and Japanese carmakers are on track in meeting their commitments, the Korean car industry is still somewhat lagging behind. Road transport generates more than one fifth of all CO2 emissions in the EU, with passenger cars being responsible for more than half of these emissions. As CO2 emissions are the main contributor to climate change, it is of major importance that the car industries stick to the target and keep reducing emissions.

Commenting on the reduction, Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said: "I appreciate the efforts that the car industry, in particular the European and Japanese industries, are making to reduce CO2 emissions and thereby mitigate the effect of car emissions on the global climate. This is important as emissions from the transport sector are growing. Since 1990 there has been a 20% increase! If we want to reach our Kyoto targets, we have to lower CO2 emissions from transport. Taking advantage of technological innovations that reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars plays an important part in that. I encourage industry to continue to introduce new technologies to reduce emissions and look forward to our discussions, which have just started, on future reductions of CO2 emissions."

Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society Erkki Liikanen said: "I am encouraged by the good results achieved particularly by ACEA(1) and JAMA(2) since 1995. Industry is pointing out that the targets remain extremely ambitious but the results so far show that they are taking the commitments very seriously. As for KAMA(3), the Commission expects that they will increase their achievements and catch up soon with the other two associations."

The findings of the report

The commitments of the European, Japanese and Korean car manufacturer's associations to reduce CO2 emissions to 140 grams per kilometre by 2008/2009 is the cornerstone in the EU's 1995 Strategy to Reduce CO2 Emissions from New Passenger Cars from 186g/km in 1995 to 120g/km by 2010 at the latest.

The European Commission's 4th Annual Report on the Effectiveness of the Community Strategy to Reduce CO2 Emissions from New Passenger Cars shows that the car industry has made progress in meeting their commitments:(4)


CO2 emissions in 2002Reduction in 2002 from 1995 levelsIndicative interim targets




165-170g CO2/km in 2003

JAMA174g/km11.2%165-175g CO2/km in 2003
KAMA183g/km7.1%165-170g CO2/km in 2004

2002 was the first year that the Commission used data supplied by Member States in its annual report. Previously, the car associations themselves reported the data. The table shows ACEA's own figures in brackets.

ACEA and JAMA show progress in reducing CO2 emissions since 1995. Already in 2000, ACEA had hit the interim target range set for 2003 and is now at the very low end of this range. JAMA achieved in 2002 the upper end of the interim target range.

KAMA's progress is still unsatisfactory. Although it has been catching up in the last two years, there is a real risk that KAMA will not meet its 2004 interim target range, given that only two years are left to close a gap of 13g/km. The Commission has repeatedly drawn KAMA's attention to this issue, and KAMA has reconfirmed its commitment to meet its targets.

However, all three associations will need to make additional efforts to increase the average annual reduction rate and meet the target of 140g CO2/km by 2008/9. In the remaining years, the annual reduction rates must be on average 2.5 % for ACEA, 2.8% for JAMA and 3.4 % for KAMA.

Increase in sale of diesel cars

All associations saw a further increase in the share of diesel cars in their respective sales within the reporting period, as was predicted for the short-term. But for the 2008/9 target, the associations should not meet it by a simple increase in the diesel share only, but through technological developments and market changes linked to these developments.

Although diesel cars emit less CO2 than petrol-fuelled vehicles, they release particles, which have adverse effects on human health. This is of concern to the Commission. It can be expected that many Member States will fail to meet their new 24-hour limit values for particulate matter concentrations when they enter into force in 2005. Thus, reducing the emission of diesel particulates is a priority assuming the current fleet mix does not change, and even more so if the diesel share should increase further. The necessary technology (notably diesel filters) is available. Recently, the Commission started working on new emission limits for cars (EURO 5), which will be applicable around 2010. Emission of particulate matter from diesel cars is one of the key issues of this work.

The car industry's commitments

Under the agreement ACEA committed itself in 1998 to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars, while JAMA and KAMA did so in 1999. These three associations cover approximately 99% of the car market in the EU: some 86.4% of all new cars registered in the EU in 2002 were European, 11.1% were Japanese and 2.4% were Korean.

All three associations committed themselves to reaching the same quantified CO2 emissions target of 140g/km as an average for new passenger cars sold in the EU.

The target of 140g CO2/km for car manufacturers is to be reached within ten years, which is 2008 in the case of ACEA and 2009 in the case of JAMA and KAMA. In addition, indicative, non-binding interim targets have been set to be reached after four or five years to be able to measure the effectiveness of its strategy.

The three associations have committed themselves to reaching the reduction targets mainly through technological development and market changes linked to these developments.

State of play for the EU's Strategy

The difference between the 140g/km target and the EU target of 120g/km is to be achieved by two other measures; the 1999 legislation on fuel economy labelling and fiscal measures. Information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars offered for sale or lease in the EU has to be made available to consumers. Car fuel efficiency should be promoted through fiscal measures.

Fuel economy labelling: All Member States except Germany have implemented the 1999 Directive on the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emission (1999/94/EC). The Commission now waits for the implementation reports, which the Member States are obliged to deliver under the Directive. In September 2003, the European Court of Justice urged Germany to transpose the Directive with no further delay.

Fiscal measures: In September 2002, the Commission put forward a proposal on passenger car taxation (COM/2002/421) in which it recommended, among other things, that the Council adopt legislation under which car taxation - registration and annual circulation taxes - would be based on CO2 emissions. The European Parliament reacted positively to the proposal. The Council started discussions in May 2003, but has not yet finalised them. The Commission is due to make a proposal on future passenger car taxation during 2004.

Next steps

At the end of last year, ACEA and JAMA submitted reports reviewing the potential to move beyond their target of 140g CO2/km to be reached by 2008 and 2009, respectively. By committing themselves to new targets after 2008/2009, they would help the EU reach its own target of 120 CO2/km. The Commission is currently studying the reports and intends to publish its view in a few months in a new Communication.

The report and further information can be found at:

(1) ACEA is the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association and includes Alfa Romeo, Alpina, Aston Martin, Audi, Bayerische Motoren Werke , Bentley, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Daimler, Ferrari., Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Lancia-Autobianchi, Land-Rover, Maserati, Matra, Mcc (Smart), Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Seat, Skoda, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Volvo.

(2) JAMA is the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and includes Daihatsu, Honda, Isuzu, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

(3) KAMA is the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association and includes Daewoo, Hyundai, Kia and Ssangyong.

(4) The technological developments that contributed to the reductions include mainly the introduction of High Speed Direct Injection Diesel (HDI) engines and to a lesser extent of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines, further Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), Variable Valve Lift (VVL), as well as other technical improvements, and Alternative Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) and Dual Fuelled Vehicles (DFV)). Since 2000, ACEA and JAMA have introduced passenger cars emitting 120 g CO2/km or less. ACEA reached over 580.000 and JAMA about 44.000 registrations of such cars in 2002. KAMA is still to introduce such models on the market.

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