The European Union has agreed to give car makers more time to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The new deal will require manufacturers to cut average CO2 emissions by 18% over the next six years.
CO2 emissions will now be reduced to an average of 130g/km between 2012 and 2015, rather than by 2012 as was originally proposed. A new long-term goal of 95g/km CO2 by 2020 will also be introduced.
'We have shown that we can encourage car manufacturers to go green by including incentives for investment in clean technology, but without driving them out of business,' said Martin Callanan, a Member of European Parliament (MEP).
A special exemption from the targets for manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, who dont build small cars, has also been agreed. They will still have to meet lower emissions goals, but they will not be as stringent as for other car makers.
The agreement has been attacked by environmentalists and anti-car campaigners.
'This is a huge disappointment,' said MEP Chris Davies. 'Tough carbon curbs would have led to lower driving costs, but the consumer seems to have been largely forgotten.'
The provisional deal still needs approval by the European Parliament and all 27 European Union nations before becoming law.