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European carmakers urge change of tack on CO2 rules

[PARIS] European carmakers warned on Friday that further tightening of carbon emission rules for new vehicles risked damaging their global competitiveness, as EU officials begin work on a new wave of CO2 targets.

Industry leaders meeting in Paris urged the European Union to balance tighter rules for new vehicles with other measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from those already on the road.

"This includes the carbon content of fuels, driver behaviour, infrastructure and the potential of intelligent transport systems," said Renault's chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, who was speaking to reporters in his role as current chairman of the Association of European Carmakers.

The Commission has set an average CO2 limit of 95 grammes per kilometre for new cars in 2021, compared with a European average of 123.4 grammes last year. Compliance will add as much as 2,000 euros to production costs per vehicle, the association said.

The EU executive is due to begin consultations next week on the target and timetable for a subsequent round of emissions cuts.

REUTERS