The European Parliament on Tuesday officially approved a law banning the sale of new light passenger cars and goods running on petrol or diesel in the European Union from 2035. With 340 votes in favor, 279 against and 21 abstentions, MEPs approved the agreement to review emissions standards carbon dioxide carbon (CO2) aligning them with the objectives of the fight climate change of the European Union.
This new legislation also requires car manufacturers to achieve a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions in all new light cars sold in the European Union by 2055 (compared to 2021). It’s part of the package suitable for 55which provides for tougher climate policies that allow the European bloc to meet targets during this decade for reducing greenhouse gas emissions the greenhouse effect and achieve climate neutrality.
There are interim 2030 emissions reduction targets of 55% for light-duty cars, much higher than the current limit of 37.5%. The interim target for trucks is now 50%, compared to 31% under current legislation.
This legislation will make it impossible to sell vehicles with an internal combustion engine in the 27 EU countries.
“The cost of running an electric vehicle is already lower than the cost of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” commented Jan Huitema, Environment Committee rapporteur for this legislation, who was the main negotiator in the European Parliament to draft the new rules , according to Reuters. This legislation is vital to making electric cars cheaper for consumers, he added.
“It is time for the European Union to take responsibility for its emissions and take global leadership in the fight against climate change. The transport sector accounts for 25% of Europe’s total carbon emissions and cars and trucks are responsible for more than 70% of emissions on our roads,” said Socialist MEP Sara Cerdas, shadow rapporteur for this legislation from the Socialists and Democrats, stated in a press release.
“The link between the environment and our health is clear: a quarter of deaths worldwide are caused by environmental problems, air pollution is responsible for 10% of cancers in Europe and one degree increase in average temperature leads to a 2% greater risk of cardiovascular disease accidents,” emphasized Sara Cerdas.
“This regulation (…) contains an ambitious revision of the 2030 targets and a zero-emissions target for 2035, which is necessary to achieve climate neutrality in 2050,” stressed the objective expressed by the European Union, emphasized Jan Huitema. in a European Parliament press release.
Helping a new market grow
In addition, it is expected to promote the development of a new market. “These targets bring clarity to the automotive industry and stimulate innovation and investment in the industry. Buying zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers and a second-hand market will emerge faster,” assured the Dutch MEP, citing the goals of the new European legislation.
Several car manufacturers have announced large investments in electrification. Volkswagen director Thomas Schaefer said last year that, from 2033, the brand will produce only electric cars in Europe, Reuters recalls.
However, this legislation has met resistance from some industry groups and countries since it was proposed in July 2021. “The right-wing political groups – PSD and CDS – voted against and tried to block the proposal, protecting industry and ignoring calls from science to the urgency of more climate action, but, fortunately, we got the green light”, emphasizes the socialist Sara Cerdas.
The PSD says it is “in favor of the sales target of 100% zero-emission cars from 2035,” in a note sent to press offices. “But we are also in favor of the political class not defining which technologies industry should use to achieve this goal. Legislation should set goals and objectives, not drive specific solutions, even more potentially damaging to the European economy , employment and wages , as this proposal is deeply oriented towards electric vehicles,” says the statement in which the social democrats explain their position.
“Unfortunately, the proposal on the table ends up with technological neutrality (the ability to choose between different options that compete for the same result) and harms European industry and employment, as well as employment in Portugal, without translating into an environmental gain.” considers the PSD.
These differing positions and pressure from some industries led to the final wording of the legislation including some flexibility. For example? Small carmakers that produce fewer than ten thousand light vehicles (or 22 thousand trucks) a year will be able to negotiate less stringent targets with the European Commission until 2036, Reuters points out.