EU figures show 3 percent drop in new car CO2 emissions
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Carbon dioxide emissions from new cars in the European Union fell an average of 3 percent in 2011, as buyers chose less polluting vehicles, EU figures showed on Wednesday.
Data from the European Environmental Agency (EEA), a monitoring arm of the EU, showed a decrease in the average amount of CO2 emitted by new cars registered in 2011 to 135.7 grams per kilometer, from 140.3 in 2010. That followed a drop of nearly 4 percent in 2010 from 2009.
"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," EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
The European Union is from this year phasing in new emissions targets. Car makers must reduce the average emissions of their new vehicles to 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2015 or face penalties.
The European Commission is also expected to make binding a provisional 2020 goal of 95 grams per kilometer.
Carbon targets are assigned to each manufacturer and those who fail to meet the 2015 requirement will face fines for each additional gram of CO2 their average exceeds the target by.
(Reporting by Ethan Bilby; Editing by Sebastian Moffett and David Holmes)
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