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The European Commission is set to decide this week whether to propose tough new emissions limits on new car models after the automotive industry failed to meet voluntary targets.
EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas in particular is eager to set binding limits on new passengers cars but needs the backing of his colleagues in the European Union's executive arm to go ahead with the proposal.
Dimas would like to see a new EU law requiring European, Japanese and Korean carmakers to keep emissions from new passenger cars to an average of 120 grammes per kilometer travelled from 2012.
Road transport creates more than 20 percent of all CO2 emissions in the EU, with half of that coming from passenger cars.
European, Japanese and Korean automakers have failed to meet a voluntary target to cut average emissions for new cars sold in Europe to 25 percent of 1995 levels.