European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned in a newspaper interview on Sunday that carmakers will face sanctions if they fail to meet new rules on reducing emissions.
BERLIN (Reuters) - European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned in a newspaper interview on Sunday that carmakers will face sanctions if they fail to meet new rules on reducing emissions.
Dimas told Bild am Sonntag newspaper before the international car show (IAA) in Frankfurt that carmakers will be punished if they fail to meet targets and dismissed complaints from carmakers that the targets are unrealistic.
"We're fully aware that European manufacturers have very different types of cars in their fleets," he said. "That's why we'll have rules that will enable us to reach our climate goals in a way that the car industry can live with.
"But the law must be obeyed," Dimas added. "In the event that a company does not obey the requirements, there will be corresponding sanctions."
The Commission plans to introduce legislation next year to have them cut emissions from new cars to an average 130 grams per kilometer by 2012. That would contribute to an overall aim of 120 g/km by 2012 compared to current levels of 163 g/km.
Car makers have criticized the move as unfair and unrealistic, and called on the executive body of the European Union to push the deadline back to 2015 to give them more time to prepare.
"As the public debate has become more intense, we've suddenly seen what can be achieved," Dimas said. "Just about every carmaker is now bringing out low emission vehicles on the market -- and that is true for every segment."
German carmakers have long resisted pressure and legislation to make less polluting cars. They have been slow to cut cars' carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improve fuel efficiency.