New carbon emissions standards that are set to be introduced across Europe by 2012 may force carmakers outside of the region unless they make serious inroads into reducing the emission levels of their cars within the next five years. Under the proposals, which are to be announced by European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas later this year, new cars in 2012 will have to emit no more than 120g of carbon per kilometer.

The Telegraph reports that European carmakers had failed to comply with a voluntary agreement they signed in 1998 to reduce emissions by 25% by 2008, and instead managed only a 13% reduction so far. Manufacturers of sports cars and SUV such as Porsche and Land Rover have stated that the proposals would devastate their future plans.

Mr Dimas said the five-year introduction period would give manufacturers time to invest in technology to make low-emission cars from lighter materials. However, industry experts have found that making the changes would add roughly $8,300 to the price of a car. Manufacturers would essentially be forced to move outside of Europe.