The European parliament has voted to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles 40 per cent from 2021 levels by 2030.
These figures are calculated across a manufacturer's fleet, and automakers which fail to meet the target will pay fines. Money raised this way will be used to fund the re-training of workers in the automotive industry.
The EU passenger car emission target is set to fall to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2021, which translates to 3.6L/100km in diesel cars and 4.1L/100km in petrol vehicles. Vans have a more generous 147g/km target.
If the European parliament has its proposed 2030 target enacted, automakers will need to reduce passenger car CO2 emissions to 57g/km, with the limit for vans set at 88g/km.
The 57g/km figure translates to a fuel consumption rating of 2.2L/100km in diesel vehicles, and 2.5L/100km in petrol-powered cars.
Last year, the European Commission, the EU's executive body, proposed cutting new vehicle emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. While parliament's 40 per cent target may seem aggressive, a substantial block of parliamentarians were keen on a 70 per cent reduction by 2030.
As part of the EU's multi-layered setup, the European parliament will now need to work with ministers from all European member states, as well as the European Commission, to see its target enshrined in legislation.
According to Deutsche Welle, the parliament decided on this tough target as the transport sector was the only one in the EU which continues to increase its greenhouse gas emissions.
European ministers are due to meet soon to discuss how they are going to meet the targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which is aiming to keep the global average temperature rise from pre-industrial times to below two degrees Celsius.
So far the Earth's temperature is up by one degree.
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