European Parliament signed off Tuesday on new carbon dioxide restrictions for commercial vans that will slash emissions by 28 percent from 2020.
Under the rules, all new light commercial vehicles sold across the European Union will emit a maximum 147 grammes of CO2 per kilometre instead of 203 grammes as per the level set in 2007.
European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the target was both "accessible" and not too expensive for manufacturers. The legislation will be reviewed in 2015.
Vans account for 12 percent of the European market for light-duty vehicles, which together are responsible for 1.5 percent of total EU CO2 emissions, according to the European Commission.
Light vans have a longer lifespan than passenger cars and weigh up to 2.61 tonnes empty and 3.5 tonnes when laden.
European lawmakers next month will vote on a similar scheme to limit CO2 emissions in new passenger cars that has been held up by concerns in Germany, which has a powerful auto industry.
Berlin agreed in November however to the scheme to reduce CO2 emissions to 95 grammes per kilometre for 2020. German carmakers had wanted the date pushed back to 2024 but did secure a phasing-in period to satisfy their demands.
The EU has already set a target for average new car emissions of 130 grammes of CO2 per kilometre by 2015, which would represent an 18-percent improvement over 2007 standards.
Explore further: This has been a month of extreme weather around the world