For 2004 (the last year for which EU figures are available), the average new car efficiency for the EU was 163g/km (grams carbon dioxide emitted for every kilometre travelled). The agreement between the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) was for ACEA members to meet an efficiency target of 140g/km by 2008.
While the 2004 figure shows a 12 per cent. gain in efficiency since 1995 (the first year of the EU-manufacturer emissions agreements), it is also clear that the 2008 target is unlikely to be met. Because of this, the Commission recently announced its intention to legislate on emissions: by mid-2008, it will propose legislation requiring manufacturers to reach an emissions level of 130g/km by 2012 (with other measures taking the overall target to the equivalent of 120g/km). While details around the target level are still being considered, we welcome in principle the Commission's intention to bring forward mandatory proposals.