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Miriam Dalli leads Euro Parliament in talks to set emission targets

Talks involve the parliament, the European Council and the Commission

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli is leading a delegation of the European Parliament in talks with the European Commission and the European Council on setting new vehicle emission targets.

The EP, following a proposal by Dr Dalli, last week proposed that CO2 emissions from vehicles should be reduced by 20 per cent by 2025 and by 40 per cent by 2030.

EU Environment Ministers agreed on a compromise 35 per cent cut in car emissions by 2030, despite protests from automakers, which said the target was unrealistic and pursuing it would cost jobs.

Asked on Wednesday at a Berlin news conference for her view on the deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the cuts - softer than those demanded by some EU countries - as "defensible", partly because of the scope for later revising them.

"(There is) a revisions clause for 2021, since the question of how fast we can cut carbon dioxide emissions depends on the extent of market penetration by electric cars or other cars with alternative propulsion systems," she said. "Under these circumstances, I think the agreement is wholly defensible."

The EU talks were lent added urgency by the publication of a UN report this week warning that time was running short for the rapid and unprecedented global action needed to contain global warming.

Dr Dalli said the EP would hold to its position. 

"As Parliament, we also agreed to introduce new measures to safeguard the environment, to protect consumers and to maximise fuel savings whilst investing in infrastructure and protecting workers,” she told European Commissioner for Climate Action, Miguel Arias Canete.

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