Five countries seek to delay the phase-out of fossil fuel cars in the EU
BRUSSELS – Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania want to delay by five years a European Union plan to effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, a document says consulted by Reuters.
The policy is a key pillar of EU plans to tackle rising emissions from transport and accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, as the bloc strives to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions at home. scale of the economy by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
The car emissions proposal, made by the European Commission last year, would require a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035, making it impossible to sell petrol vehicles in the EU from from this date.
Ministers from EU countries plan to agree their position next week, before negotiating the final law with the European Parliament – which backed the 2035 ban in a vote this month .
In a document circulated among EU states, the five countries instead called for a 90% reduction in CO2 from cars by 2035 and reaching the target of 100% by 2040.
They said light commercial vehicles should achieve an 80% CO2 reduction by 2035 and 100% by 2040, rather than the 100% reduction by 2035 proposed by the Commission.
“Adequate and suitable transition periods should be established,” the document says, citing the need to expand charging infrastructure.
A Bulgarian official, who did not wish to be named, said climate policies needed to take into account economic and social factors such as “significant differences” in purchasing power between EU countries.
Brussels says the 2035 date is crucial because the average lifespan of new cars is 15 years – so a later ban would prevent the EU from reaching net zero emissions by 2050, scientists say this global milestone would avoid disastrous climate change.
Some EU governments have rallied behind the 2035 target, but Germany’s finance minister said this week that the EU’s biggest car market would not support it.
Ford and Volvo Cars have publicly backed the plan, and Volkswagen aims to stop selling combustion engine cars in Europe by 2035. But industry groups including the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers have opposed the plan. 2035 target, citing concerns such as the uncertain deployment of chargers.
The EU is negotiating another law requiring countries to install millions of vehicle chargers this decade.