EU ambition in CO2 cars bill

Austrian environment minister Elisabeth Kostinger chaired the meeting.  EU environment ministers achieved a common position late on Tuesday evening. the deal struck at a Council of the EU meeting in Luxembourg that began in the morning and wrapped up only shortly before midnight.

In press conference, Kostinger said the council wanted cars to emit 35 percent less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2020 – as opposed to the original proposal of 30 percent from the European Commission.

The council maintained the commission proposal of 30 percent less CO2 emissions by 2030 for vans.

Those targets are considerably lower than what the European Parliament proposed last week – MEPs said that the 2030 target for both cars and vans should be 40 percent reduction.

The Austrian minister said the 35 percent target was “very ambitious”, but could not give additional details at the press conference – asking journalists instead to wait for the final compromise text to be distributed.

At the beginning of the day, a substantial majority of countries expressed support for higher targets. But as the day progressed, the Austrian presidency tweaked its compromise proposal to keep Germany and central and eastern EU states on board.

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