EU Countries Approve Climate Measures 06/29 06:13
European Union countries reached a deal following hard-fought talks that
dragged into early Wednesday to back stricter climate rules that would
eliminate carbon emissions from new cars by 2035.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union countries reached a deal following
hard-fought talks that dragged into early Wednesday to back stricter climate
rules that would eliminate carbon emissions from new cars by 2035.
The 27 EU members found agreement on draft legislation aimed at slashing EU
greenhouse gases by at least 55% in 2030 compared with 1990 rather than by a
previously agreed 40%.
"A long but good day for climate action: The council's decisions on Fitfor55
are a big step towards delivering the EU Green Deal," said Frans Timmermans,
the European Commission vice-president in charge of the Green Deal, after the
meeting of environment ministers in Luxembourg.
The agreement on the five laws proposed by the EU's executive arm last year
paves the way for final negotiations with the European Parliament. EU lawmakers
are backing ambitious bloc-wide targets. final approval of the legislative
package requires the Parliament to resolve differences with the bloc's national
governments over various details.
"The council is now ready to negotiate with the European Parliament on
concluding the package, thereby placing the European Union more than ever in
the vanguard of fighting climate change," said Agns Pannier-Runacher, the
French Minister for the energy transition.
The decision to introduce a 100% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2035 for
new cars and vans would effectively prohibit the sale in the 27-nation bloc of
new cars powered by gasoline or diesel.
Europe's leading clean transport campaign group, Transport and Environment,
said the EU government's agreement was "historic" as it "breaks the hold of the
oil industry over transport."
"It's game over for the internal combustion engine in Europe," the group
Greenpeace was more skeptical, saying the 2035 deadline is too late to limit
global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
The deal poses a mighty challenge for German automakers, who have long
relied on sales of increasingly big, gas-guzzling vehicles for their profits.
Following intense haggling within the three-party government, particularly
between the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, German
officials voted in favor of the compromise overnight.
The German government said the deal will also see the Commission make a
proposal that will allow cars which run exclusively on climate neutral e-fuels
to continue to be sold after 2035.
"This is a huge step forward and steers the transport sector onto the path
of climate neutrality," Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, a member of the
Greens, said. By declaring that only cars and light utility vehicles which emit
no CO2 can be sold from 2035, "we are sending a clear signal that we need to
meet the climate targets. This gives the car industry the planning security it
The EU wants to drastically reduce gas emission from transportation by 2050
and promote electric cars, but a report from the bloc's external auditor showed
last year that the bloc is lacking the appropriate charging stations.
Transportation accounts for about 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU,
In addition to the landmark agreement on cars, the package also features a
reform of the EU's carbon market and the creation of a social climate fund to
help vulnerable households cope with the planned clean-energy revamp. That
issue has become more politically sensitive as Russia's war in Ukraine has sent
fuel prices soaring.
The overall goal is to put the EU on track to become climate-neutral in 2050
and to prod other major polluters, including the United States and China, to