After Germany lobbied on behalf of its automakers, the EU governments have delayed for a third time a target to cut average CO2 emissions from Europe’s new-car fleet to 95 g/km by 2020.

At the last EU meeting, Germany’s call to delay a vote on the limit was backed by Britain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, according to sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Angela Merkel’s government aims to tone down a deal agreed upon in June to cut average emissions of new cars sold in the EU to 95g/km by 2020 from about 130/g/km now. The 95g/km target is equivalent to fuel use of 4 L/100 km (59 U.S. mpg/71 UK mpg).

An EU source said governments want more time to consider a German plan for a phase-in period. Under the German proposal the 95g/km limit would apply to 80% of cars produced in 2020, rising by 5% points each year to reach full implementation only in 2024.

Lithuania, holder of the EU presidency, said on Friday that the issue had been deferred for a debate and possible vote at a council of environment ministers in Luxembourg on October 14.


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