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Brussels, 29 August 2006

CO2 emissions from new cars down by more than 12% since 1995

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars sold in the EU-15 have decreased further. According to the European Commission's annual report on CO2 emissions from new cars, published today, in 2004 average emissions were 12.4 %[1] below 1995's level (in 2003 they had been 11.8% below 1995). The report welcomes this progress but underlines that the industry will need to make major additional efforts to meet its commitments to cut average CO2 emissions to 140g/km by 2008/9, a reduction of around 25% from 1995 levels.

Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Günter Verheugen said: “Car manufacturers have made continuous and substantial progress since 1995. The situation is not satisfactory. I urge industry to step up their efforts. We expect that industry sticks to its commitments.”

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas added: "To combat climate change and respect our Kyoto commitments we have to reduce CO2 emissions from transport – a sector whose emissions contribute significantly to overall emissions. I appreciate the efforts of some car manufacturers to market cars that emit less CO2. I urge the car industry to step up its efforts to meet the 140 g of CO2/km target under the voluntary agreement. This will be crucial to achieving the Community objective of 120 g of CO2/km by 2012 at the latest.”

Commissioners Verheugen and Dimas underlined that if industry did not honour its commitments, the Commission would have to consider taking measures, including legislative ones, to ensure that the necessary CO2 reductions were achieved.

The EU strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars rests on three pillars. The most important of these consists of separate voluntary commitments by the European, Japanese and Korean car manufacturers’ associations to reduce CO2 emissions from their cars to an average of 140 g/km by 2008 (for European manufacturers) and 2009 (for Japanese and Korean producers). The other two pillars of the strategy are consumer information (chiefly through fuel efficiency labelling of cars) and fiscal measures to promote the most fuel-efficient cars.

The commitments by European, Japanese and Korean manufacturers are an important measure to help the EU-15 reach its Kyoto Protocol target of cutting emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases to 8% below 1990 levels by 2012. Cars are responsible for more than 10% of EU CO2 emissions.

Situation in 2004:

CO2 emissions in 2004
2004 reduction from 1995 levels[2]
2004 reduction from 2003 levels
Interim targets
161 g/km
- 13%
- 1.2%
165-170g CO2/km in 2003
170 g/km
- 13.3%
- 1.2%
165-175g CO2/km in 2003
168 g/km
- 14.7%
- 6.1%
165-170g CO2/km in 2004

Since the start of the commitments in 1999 and 2000 ACEA and JAMA have achieved continuous progress in reducing CO2 emissions, although less so in 2003 and 2004 than in previous years. KAMA achieved a very substantial reduction in 2004 which enabled it to respect the agreed interim target range.

Despite this progress, however, all three associations have to make considerable further efforts if they are to reach the 140g CO2/km target by 2008/9. In the remaining years, until the deadline, annual reduction rates will need to reach 3.3% for ACEA and KAMA and 3.5% for JAMA.

The Commission is currently reviewing the strategy and the options available to further reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles in the EU-25, subject to an impact assessment and taking into account the work of the CARS21 high-level group. The revised strategy will be based on an integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, involving various stakeholders and extending, amongst others, to car technology, fuels, infrastructure and driver behaviour. The Commission recently launched an online consultation (see link below) to seek the views of the public on measures to further improve cars' fuel efficiency and reduce their CO2 emissions. A Communication to the European Parliament and Council on the outcome of this review will be presented in the second half of this year.


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. CO2 emissions from road transport have risen by 22% since 1990, notably due to increases both in the number of cars on the roads as well as in the distances that are driven annually.

Further information is available at the following internet addresses:
Emissions from cars:
Online consultation on CO2 from cars:

[1] Percentage based on rounded numbers.

[2] Each of the associations has individually achieved higher relative improvements than the average for the EU-15. This is explained by their different average emission levels at the start of their commitment and by changes in their market shares since then.
[3] European Automobile Manufacturers' Association: Alfa Romeo, Alpina, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW , 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.
[4] Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association: Daihatsu, Honda, Isuzu, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.
[5] Korea Automobile Manufacturers’ Association: Daewoo, Hyundai, Kia and Ssangyong.

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