Green groups today launched a co-ordinated attack on European car manufacturers, accusing them of deliberately overstating the amount of time needed to reduce carbon emissions from new vehicles as part of a cynical ploy designed to weaken mandatory EU targets.
Citing figures from a report published today by Brussels-based sustainable transport group Transport & Environment, Friends of the Earth said many car manufacturers were years ahead of schedule in their attempts to meet EU emissions targets that were only set in 2008.
The targets were only introduced after car firms repeatedly failed to meet voluntary targets, but extensive lobbying from the auto industry meant that the deadline for meeting the new rules was extended from 2012 to 2015.
However, today's report shows that many manufacturers are on track to meet the targets well ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Most notably, Toyota cut its emissions by 10 per cent in 2009 and now only needs to cut emissions by a further four per cent to meet its 2015 target. Moreover, the company's fleet averages 125g/km, putting it below the 130g/km target for 2015.
Meanwhile, BMW needs to find cuts of just eight per cent, Ford 11 per cent, GM 13 per cent and Nissan 15 per cent over the next six years, the report said.
It concluded that taken together carmakers closed 30 per cent of the gap towards the 2015 target in just one year.
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