The European Union's Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, has said that a staggered introduction of stringent new CO2 emissions requirements will not be taking place. Despite numerous protests from the auto industry, most notably from Aston Martin and Porsche, Dimas recommended that a fleet-wide limit on CO2 emissions of just 120g/km will be put in place by 2012.

Dimas argued that the imposed regulations have been known to auto manufacturers "for more than ten years", and that the European Union had little sympathy for renewed protests, reports Automotive News Europe.

The new regulations mean that manufacturers breaching the limit will be penalized, and representatives of France and Germany have agreed on a staggered penalty system which will impose penalties gradually between 2012 and 2015.

While the American CAFE regulations impose a mileage requirement, the European Union Commission's CO2 regulations have been deemed to be much harsher - most sub-120g/km cars are superminis with diesel engines, although hybrids are now becoming more and more commonplace as the only solution to an expensive problem.

Manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, owned by Fiat and Volkswagen respectively, are able to use their parent companies' model ranges to offset their own high CO2 emissions, while independent manufacturers such as Aston Martin are unable to do so.