Brussels, 1 September 2008 - Members of the European Parliament this evening voted to delay proposals to force carmakers to reduce the fuel consumption of new cars, despite overwhelming public support for more fuel efficient vehicles.
The Industry Committee of the European Parliament voting in Brussels bent to pressure from the car industry and opted to delay a target of 120g CO2/km - equivalent to reducing fuel consumption by a quarter - by three years, from 2012 until 2015.
Jeroen Verhoeven, car efficiency campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said; "The industry committee has voted for the car industry over people and the climate by supporting an opinion ridden with loopholes. But the vote wasn't overwhelming and it is now up to the environment committee to get the priorities right next week."
An opinion poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and published last week shows a large majority of citizens around Europe support measures to force carmakers reduce the fuel consumption of cars by 25 per cent without delay. 
Click on pictures for print-quality, high resolution versions. Friends of the Earth Europe used two Volkswagen Beetles - separated by 60 years of innovation but with the same fuel consumption - to call on MEPs to 'shift fuel efficiency up a gear'. (Photo credit: Lode Saidane/FoE Europe)
Click on pictures for print-quality, high resolution versions. Outside the European Parliament Friends of the Earth Europe urge MEPs to vote to reduce the fuel consumption of new cars by 25 per cent without delay. (Photo credit: Lode Saidane/FoE Europe)
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