Original plans proposed that cars should emit no more than 95g/km of CO2 by 2020
Voting on whether to lower the CO2 emissions limit on new cars has been delayed for a third time.
EU member states were due to vote on whether to drop the CO2 emissions limit to 95g/km from 2020, but lobbying from Germany has delayed any action.
Instead of the proposed blanket agreement, the country instead wants a phase-in period on the emissions legislation - suggesting that 80 per cent of new cars should emit less than 95g/km of CO2 by 2020. The remaining 20 per cent of cars would then be phased in by 2024.
The changes were backed by Britain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.
Targets already agreed by the EU propose a 130g/km limit across manufacturer model ranges by 2015.
At the same meeting, a target set for commercial vans to emit no more than 147g/km by 2020 was endorsed by member states, meaning it will now be passed to EU ministers before becoming law.
A final decision on the emissions limits for new cars is expected to be agreed later this month.