Research by Jato- a provider of automotive news and research- has shown that Fiat is the greenest car manufacturer in Europe.

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Fiat has the lowest average CO2 emissions across its range with an average of just 123.5 g/km, placing it first out of the top ten best-selling car manufacturers in the European market.

It was further good news for the Italian small car specialists as the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda came first and second respectively and the Fiat Punto achieving fourth place.

Jato has predicted that CO2 emissions will continue to fall as CO2 technology improves, and this figure is particularly relevant when the brands with the biggest change in CO2 emissions are considered.

The Germans have done particularly well with Volkswagen showing the most improvement after reducing CO2 emissions by 8.2 g/km, Vauxhall/Opel had a 7.5 g/km improvement while Audi improved by 6.8 g/km.

In many ways these are the late-comers to the CO2 reducing game, and not only their results but more so their new commitment to the cause is reason enough for celebration in the green camp.

The new VW Golf with Bluemotion technology has fallen below the 100 g/km threshold, and on a mainstream, incredibly popular model. As such you’d expect average CO2 emissions for VW to fall further across its range.

Similarly the Audi A3/S3 had the biggest improvement in CO2 emissions for a specific model, with a reduction in CO2 by 11.1 g/km. The Vauxhall Corsa also showed improvement with a reduction itself by 10.5 g/km.

While it is not so much a surprise that Fiat, perennially producers of small city cars, and arguably the most iconic of the lot in the form of the Fiat 500, it is probably more of an achievement for the more performance and premium quality orientated manufacturers, Audi.

The table itself reflects this; in fact the title of the table could almost be exchanged for one concerning price range.

It is reassuring that those not previously associated with low emissions, are becoming increasingly more so, and are the biggest movers in the research.

On the back of this, as Jato has said, CO2 emissions are going to fall as CO2 technology improves, and while we may see a plateau in small car makers, who are much better positioned to have lower emissions, it is those who have not really afforded any time, money or technology previously to CO2 emissions that will see the most dramatic improvements, as the research suggests.

The good news is the newly concentrated focus of the more premium marques to drive down CO2 emissions without necessarily taking away from performance, as the VW Golf Bluemotion has shown.