Germany has won its fight to delay a proposed EU law aimed at curbing CO2 emissions from cars.
The original legislation agreed with MEPs in June said carmakers must reduce their fleets’ average emissions to 95 grammes per kilometre by 2020.
But Berlin won enough support to effectively block the proposal at a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg earlier.
Germany wants to protect its premium carmakers, such as BMW and Audi, which would find it tough to meet those goals.
It argues any new rules should only become fully applicable from 2024.
The German government backed by the UK and Poland want the European Commission to come up with a compromise deal.