EU approves end of combustion engine sales by 2035

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European Union countries have approved an initiative to eliminate carbon emissions from new cars by 2035, heralding the end of the era of the internal combustion engine.

Environment ministers struck a deal on the proposal after Italy, home to Ferrari NV and Automobili Lamborghini SpA, backed down from its demands for a five-year delay in the EU’s plan for carmakers clean their fleet. Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani told his counterparts on Tuesday that he was “satisfied” with a compromise proposed by Germany that could allow the use of carbon-neutral fuels after 2035.

The deal sets out member states’ negotiating position for further talks with the European Parliament and the European Commission on the final shape of the so-called landmark Fit for 55 package on reducing greenhouse gases. With European lawmakers already in favor of moving away from fossil fuels in the automotive industry, it is highly likely that most automakers will have to switch to producing electric models in just over a decade.

“I have full confidence that the European car industry can handle it,” Frans Timmermans, the commission’s executive vice-president, told ministers as the heated talks came to an end around 2 a.m. in Brussels on Wednesday. “Our automakers are among Europe’s industry leaders and they can continue to be as they embrace this global change.”

As part of the package, governments also agreed to strengthen the EU’s emissions trading system and strengthen its price control mechanism. They also want to delay a new carbon market for heating and road transport fuel for a year and create a climate fund to help mitigate the costs of the new cap and trade program for the most vulnerable.

“Thanks to this agreement, Europe is at the forefront of climate and technological issues,” said French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher. “We are also ensuring a just transition for every Member State, every territory and every citizen.”

Along with four other member states, Italy had called for a 90% cut in carmaker emissions by 2035, the year the European Commission has targeted a full reduction, as well as a longer exemption for smaller manufacturers. automobiles. He obtained some waiver concessions for niche manufacturers – like Lamborghini – who will be spared intermediate targets until the end of 2035, from 2029 proposed by the commission, according to France.

To allow for a compromise, Germany has proposed a non-binding addition to the Car Emissions Act that asks the commission to offer to register vehicles running exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels after 2035.

Ministers also agreed to endorse key parameters for sweeping carbon market reform as proposed by the commission, including a 61% reduction in emissions in the cap and trade program by 2030 by compared to 2005 levels. They want to strengthen a mechanism preventing excessive price spikes to curb speculation and allow the release of 75 million carbon permits on the market. This would happen if the six-month average auction price for allowances was more than 2.5 times the average price for the previous two years.

The agreement also limits the size of the Social Climate Fund to 59 billion euros ($62 billion) compared to the 72 billion euros proposed by the European Commission.


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