MEPs have called for a compulsory cut in European car emissions within four years, ignoring car industry pleas for more time to meet the targets.
Manufacturers have balked at the European Parliament's Environment Committee vote, claiming the goals are unrealistic. MEPS also hope to reduce CO2 pollution by 60% within 12 years.
A report before the committee recommends a delayed target date and weaker financial sanctions against carmakers failing to meet targets.
But the recent vote ignored the compromise and backed European Commission plans to bring the figure down to a permitted maximum of 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2012.
The commission said it had already responded to car industry concerns by allowing manufacturers to cut emissions to an average 130 grams by by 2012 if they use innovative car-making technology to improve fuel consumption.
The other 10 grams saving would be sought from "other technological improvements" such as better tyres and increased use of bio-fuels.
MEPs also approved a non-binding target of no more than 95g of CO2 per kilometre by 2020, subject to a review in 2014.
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