Consumer organisations in Europe have been campaigning for two and a half years to eliminate lead from petrol on health and enviromental grounds. The EEC has been discussing the question for two years. Decisions ‘in principle’ have been taken but no details have been agreed. Questions of octane quality, distribution, pricing policy need further consideration. Consumer organisations would prefer a single grade of unleaded petrol, 96 RON, but an additional lower grade should not be prohibited. The issue is complicated by the decision to introduce new exhaust emission limits comparable with US limits. Consumer organisations want new emission limits for new cars but are not certain that three-way catalysts offer the best solution for consumers. Lean-burn engines could offer consumers new advantages and their development should not be precluded. All new cars should be required to meet new limits from the same date.