The European Parliament is expected to bring forward reforms to public procurement processes, which will compel local and national governments to consider the environmental impact of vehicles before they buy transport services or vehicles.
The changes were not expected until 2012, but under the new proposals they will be brought forward to January 2010.
However, included within the amendments is a plan for public authorities to be able to ignore the environmental impact in tenders associated with buying used ambulances, fire and rescue and other highly specialised vehicles.
But MEPs want contracts for retro-fitting with engines and parts to be covered by the planned requirements.
Another amendment will allow local, regional and national authorities that can demonstrate they have procured clean and energy-efficient vehicles, which account for at least 75% of their annual transport procurement needs, to use ‘clean and energy efficient’ labels on their vehicles and in any publicity.