EU environment ministers have agreed a common position for car and van CO2 emission cuts for 2030.

Further to the European Commission's initial 30% emission cuts proposal, Austria's EU Presidency tabled a 35% compromise, which ultimately ended up being split into separate 35% and 30% targets for cars and vans, respectively. A recent European Parliament vote was for a 40% target reduction by 2030.

Twenty member states voted in favour of the final text, four against and four abstained.

European carmakers' trade body ACEA said it took note of the common position on future CO2 targets for cars and vans adopted by the 28 EU member states.

"Further reducing CO2 emissions remains a top priority of the EU auto industry. All manufacturers are actively expanding and investing in their portfolios of alternatively-powered cars and vans, particularly electric ones," stated Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

"Although the CO2 reduction levels agreed on by the member states yesterday are less aggressive than those voted by the European Parliament last week, they still risk having a negative impact on industry competitiveness, auto workers and consumers alike," cautioned Jonnaert.

Last night's agreement by the environment ministers of the 28 EU member states is a very important milestone, formally marking the start of the negotiation process between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.

Jonnaert added: "We now call on the three institutions to work towards a final agreement that strikes the right balance between protecting the environment and safeguarding Europe's manufacturing base – while at the same time ensuring affordable and convenient mobility for all citizens."