The European Commission wants to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and is planning a law to force manufacturers to increase energy efficiency.
This timeline will follow the progress of the proposed legislation through to its eventual approval or rejection.
The latest developments are at the top. Scroll down to the bottom for the start of the process.
PARLIAMENT REPORT 8/6/07
BBC Europe editor Mark Mardell gets a preview of a report being prepared for the European Parliament. British Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies wants to give industry a bit more time to cut car emissions than the European Commission is proposing - but he wants to go further, reaching 120g/km by 2015 and 95g/km by 2020. He also wants to ban cars that do more than 101mph. A vote on the report in parliament in October will give the European Commission an idea of the parliament's opinion on the main issues at stake. This could influence the shape of the draft legislation the commission is expected to issue at the end of 2007 or early 2008.
ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL 20/2/07
The German environment minister says the EU must push for binding standards as the industry has failed to meet voluntary targets. He asks others if they agree that legislation is needed, and the target is right. Sweden and France say Yes to both questions; Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark want tougher targets; Poland would rather not have a new law at all; and the UK holds its cards close to its chest.
EU AMBASSADORS' DISCUSSION 12/02/07
The first to look over this baby law were the desk officers within the embassies of the 27 EU countries, in Brussels. After this there was a discussion in the regular meeting of Coreper. Who? Oh, the 27 ambassadors to the EU, or their deputies, that's Coreper: Comité des représentants permanents.
COMMISSION COMMUNICATION 7/2/07
The European Commission proposes forcing carmakers to increase the fuel efficiency of new cars by 20%, by 2012. It says it is planning legislation to ensure the average new car emits no more than 130g of CO2 per kilometre, compared with 162g/km in 2005. This is a compromise: the environment commissioner wanted to enforce an average of 120g of CO2 per kilometre, but the industry commissioner did not want mandatory restrictions at all.