BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Germany is working to block a compromise deal that would impose a tougher CO2 emissions limit for all new cars in the European Union starting in 2020, EU sources said.
Berlin believes a deal reached earlier this week for a CO2 limit of 95 grams per kilometer (g/km) as an average across the EU fleet will be too much of a burden on German luxury carmakers such as Daimler and BMW, sources said.
Germany is applying intense pressure on fellow member states to overturn the deal, three sources in Brussels said.
Representatives of member states were expected to meet on Thursday to consider the deal. "The Germans, at the highest possible level, are piling on a lot of pressure," one of the sources said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a last-minute attempt to delay a decision on the 95g/km limit, the Financial Times said. Merkel called Enda Kenny, prime minister of Ireland, the holder of the EU's rotating presidency, to request that the matter be dropped from the agenda of Thursday's meeting, the paper said.
Germany likely wants a decision to be postponed until after the German elections in September but EU diplomats fear such a move could cause the fragile compromise to fall apart.
On Monday, Ireland brokered a compromise deal that allowed automakers to continue to offset sales of electric and other green vehicles against those of cars with high emissions but the agreement was less than Germany had hoped for.
German automakers complain that tougher emissions limits favor French automakers Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Italy's Fiat that mainly sell smaller cars with low emissions.
Monday's outline agreement still needs the official endorsement of EU member states.
The 95g/km is equivalent to gasoline use of 4l/100km, 59 U.S. mpg or 71 UK mpg. Supporters say the goal will encourage innovation as well as reduce CO2 emissions that are said to contribute to climate change.
Automakers are on target to meet an existing goal of 130g/km phased in between 2012 and 2015. The EU fleet average is now around 132 g/km.
Each automaker must reach an individual target to take account of the nature of their fleet and their past cuts or face fines.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report