European cars getting greener
Preliminary figures released by the European Environment Agency show that Europeans are buying more efficient cars, with average carbon dioxide emissions from cars continuing to fall.
Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “Europe’s car manufacturers are delivering towards the 2015 CO2 targets. These data confirm that there’s steady progress in improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions from new cars. This is a good sign for the capacity of Europe’s car industry to innovate and thus maintain global competitiveness while making their products more efficient.”
The data on average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars registered in 2011 show there were 12.8 million new cars registered in the EU in 2011. The average CO2 emissions from these cars were 135.7 grams CO2 per kilometre, which is 4.6g CO2/km less than in 2010 – a reduction of 3.3 per cent.
2011 is the last year before the CO2 targets become binding. The phase-in of the mandatory target of 130gCO2/km to be met in 2015 will start on the basis of the data for 2012. A further target will require the average car sold in the EU to emit a maximum of 95g CO2/km by 2020.
Historically, in the EU, CO2 emissions from road transport have increased by 23 per cent since 1990, and are now responsible for approximately one fifth of the EU’s total emissions.
According to EEA analysis, a combination of changes in buying behaviour, improved technology and engine efficiency was mostly responsible for this reduction.
Car manufacturers will now be asked to verify these preliminary figures before they are confirmed by the Commission later this year.