It appears that the European Union is no closer to getting its members to agree on the plan to cut CO2 emissions from vehicles, with Italy joining Germany in disagreeing with the plan to phase-out combustion engine cars by 2035.
In October of last year, EU Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on revised CO2 emissions reduction targets for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
EU negotiators secured an agreement with member states on the EU Commission’s original proposal to reach zero-emission road mobility by 2035 (an EU fleet-wide target to reduce the CO2 emissions produced by new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 100% compared to 2021).
The deal included initiatives to ensure a just transition in the automotive sector, an assessment of life-cycle emissions and progression towards zero-emission road mobility and aligning emission limit values with real-world emissions.
‘‘It was the first deal of the “Fit for 55” package and a clear signal ahead of the UN COP27 Climate Change Conference that the EU is serious about adopting concrete laws to reach the more ambitious targets set out in the EU Climate Law’’, noted the EU Parliament.
However, Germany has now changed its tune with a last minute disapproval of the plan to phase out ICE vehicles by 2035, while Italy has stated it will support the plan to phase out ICE vehicles if the European Commission allows the sale of cars running on carbon-neutral biofuels to continue after 2035.
The plan to phase out internal combustion engine cars in the European Union by 2035 requires the support of Germany and Italy. In a letter received on Tuesday, Reuters reported that “Italy would not accept an unduly restricted interpretation by the Commission of ‘CO2 neutral fuels’, that includes only e-fuels and not biofuels.”
To reach a compromise, the Commission has come up with a draft proposal that will allow carmakers to register new cars after 2035 if they run on carbon-neutral fuels—and only on carbon-neutral fuels. Reuters pointed out that the exact verbiage of the text was ‘carbon neutral fuels’ and not ‘biofuels’.
While Italy and Germany remain hopeful for a better deal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Slovenia and others have plans to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars even earlier—sometime between 2025 and 2030.
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Source: Reuters, EU Parliament, OilPrice.com (Julianne Geiger)