Carmakers reduced carbon emissions by wildly varying degrees last year with the best performers achieving four to five times larger cuts than the worst. New figures published by Transport & Environment show BMW and Mazda led the field with 10% and 8.2% reductions to the average carbon dioxide emissions for cars sold in Europe in 2008. But nine of the 14 volume producers in the ranking achieved just 4% or lower. Improvements to fuel efficiency are directly linked to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. A new European law setting binding targets for average carbon dioxide emissions was agreed at the end of last year. According to the report, the striking differences in performance by different carmakers reflect the amount of work each has to do to reach their new EU targets. Progress slowed dramatically at Fiat and Peugeot-Citro�n (PSA), who have Europe's cleanest fleets on average and are close to meeting their EU targets. Conversely Suzuki and Mazda, who have been slow to improve efficiency in the past, and consequently have a long way to go to meet EU targets, made big steps forward in 2008. Jos Dings, Director of Transport & Environment said: "The new EU law is already having an impact. If the overall drop in average carbon dioxide emissions was purely related to the financial crisis, fuel prices or changing consumer behaviour, we would have expected to see every company reducing much more equally. But what is actually happening is that carmakers are seeing how far they have to cut and changing their fleets accordingly."


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