Germany's environment minister has proposed that if European car makers fail to meet CO2 reduction targets, they should pay into a fund to finance emission reductions in developing countries.
Jurgen Trittin has written a letter urging all European manufacturers to voluntarily cut average new car CO2 emissions to 120 grams per kilometre (g/km). If they do not meet the target, they should pay the difference in equivalent carbon credits into the Kyoto protocol's clean development mechanism.
Mr Trittin wrote: "In terms of meeting climate goals during the second phase of Kyoto, namely 2008 to 2012, it is essential that the auto industry make a verifiable contribution to reducing emissions".
Last year Mr Trittin was among the first politicians to say that if the car manufacturers fail to reach a new voluntary agreement on emissions, the EU should legislate to require the 120 g/km standard.