The European Union forged ahead Tuesday with plans to slash carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and vans by 2030 despite industry concerns the targets are for now "totally unrealistic."
The targets will require new cars sold in 2030 to emit 37.5 percent less carbon dioxide on average compared to 2021 levels. Emissions from new vans will have to be 31 percent lower.
"With these ambitious targets, Europe is once again showing how to turn the #ParisAgremeent and #COP24 into action," tweeted Miguel Arias Canete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel.
Ambassadors from EU countries are to expected to endorse the deal in Brussels as soon as Wednesday, just days after the COP24 summit in Poland aimed at breathing new life into the 2015 Paris climate deal.
The auto emissions deal is a compromise between the demands of states like Germany which wanted a more modest cut of 30 percent and the European Parliament which had wanted a reduction of 40 percent.
Siding with Germany, the bloc's biggest auto producer, were several eastern EU countries. France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Ireland backed the parliament's more ambitious goal.
Elisabeth Kostinger, who chaired the talks under the union's Austrian six-month EU presidency, described the negotiations leading to the deal as "tough and tense."
But she added she was confident the EU member countries would endorse it.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) expressed "serious concerns about the highly challenging CO2 targets" that the industry will have to meet in 12 years.