The German government is supporting its domestic vehicle manufacturers in discussions over the level of fines on vehicle manufacturers of cars with high levels of CO2 emissions.

According dpa, the government is concerned that the European Union is designing legislation that could see manufacturers liable for billions of euros in fines.

The EU Commission will announce the structure of new CO2-based legislation next Wednesday. The legislation is designed to bring down average CO2 emissions from vehicles by around 19%. The question is how much each individual vehicle manufacturer should contribute to the reduction. France wants to make particularly 'thirsty' cars contribute the most. Germany is campaigning for rules that mean that heavy vehicles should not have to reduce their emissions by proportionately more than smaller cars.

In addition the German government is calling for the development of more efficient air-conditioning systems to be included in a calculation of a car's CO2 emissions.

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