In an important political move regarding controversial proposals made by the EU executive earlier this year, the committee adopted a report calling for carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars to be capped at an average of 120g/km from 2012.
In February, the commission said it planned to propose next year that CO2 emissions from new auto models be cut to an average of 130g/km by 2012, with a possible further 10g cut through technological changes and the possible increased use in biofuels.
The committee is encouraging the commission to stick to its guns, proposing that binding annual emissions targets be set from January 2009 to achieve a 120g limit.
Even though “the technology is there to make a significant difference in a short period of time”, said committee spokesman and British Liberal MEP Chris Davies, the automobile manufacturing “industry has stalled in reducing CO2 emissions”.
The commission’s plan to propose binding legislation was “necessary to help the EU meet its target of reducing emissions”, he said, criticising manufacturers for failing to make good on voluntary commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, the committee’s report said that by 2020, average emissions should not exceed 95g CO2/km.
Long-term targets should be determined by no later than 2016, it said and “will possibly require further emissions reductions to 70g CO2/km or less by 2025”.