BRUSSELS - The European Union has reached a voluntary agreement with the auto industry to limit emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2.
By threatening European makers with legislation, the EU has extracted a promise from industry association ACEA that by 2008 its members will reduce levels to 140 grams per kilometer, an average fuel economy level of 5.6-liters per 100 kilometers traveled - a reduction of around 25 percent from 1995 levels.
The voluntary agreement reached with ACEA and approved by European environmental ministers has no provisions for fines for those who do not comply.
'That target will be difficult to reach,' said an ACEA lobbyist. 'But there are no provisions for fines if we don't reach 140 grams per 100 kilometers.'
Unlike U.S. corporate average fuel economy legislation, the limit does not apply to individual makers. The average fleet consumption of all ACEA members, representing about 85 percent of all European vehicle sales, would be averaged together.