Advance in Strasbourg: EU Parliament wants to ban combustion engines from 2035

In 13 years, no new cars with internal combustion engines should be sold in the EU.

Advance in Strasbourg: EU Parliament wants to ban combustion engines from 2035

In 13 years, no new cars with internal combustion engines should be sold in the EU. At least if the EU Parliament has its way. The EU countries still have a say. However, Germany has already signaled its approval. Criticism comes from the CDU.

In the fight for more climate protection, the EU Parliament wants to ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035. A majority of MEPs in Strasbourg voted in favor of the fact that from the middle of the next decade manufacturers will only be allowed to bring cars and vans onto the market that do not emit any greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate. Before such a regulation can come into force, Parliament still has to negotiate with the EU states.

At the end of the month, the EU countries want to determine their position on the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars. Then the two EU institutions still have to find a compromise so that it can come into force.

Germany has already committed to the exit date of 2035. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke from the Greens said in Brussels in March on behalf of the federal government that the goal of ending the use of combustion engines in cars and vans by 2035 was supported. At the world climate conference in Glasgow in November, several major car manufacturers, including Mercedes and Ford, called for a sales ban on combustion engines in the leading markets from 2035.

After the vote, German Greens MP Michael Bloss said: "We have decided in favor of the future of Europe as an automotive location." In the future, the best electric cars and the latest batteries would come from Europe. MEPs also advocated that no climate-friendly synthetic fuels can be counted. With these, a classic combustion engine could be operated in a climate-neutral manner. However, critics fear that there are already too few of these for aviation and shipping, which are less easy to operate electrically than cars or vans.

Criticism came from the CDU. "Unfortunately, the Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats prefer to put everything on the electric mobility card," said CDU MEP Jens Gieseke. In his own words, he fears for Europe's competitiveness and numerous jobs. But he conceded: "The ban on combustion engines in 2035 will probably no longer be preventable."

ADAC and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) are also critical of the decision. It would have been better to also open up a perspective for combustion engines that are fueled in a climate-neutral manner. According to VDA President Hildegard Müller, the decision does not want to accept that there is insufficient charging infrastructure for e-cars in large parts of Europe.

From the point of view of ADAC Technical President Karsten Schulze, the European Council, in which the governments of the member states sit, is now required to "take a clear stance in favor of openness to technology and efficient CO2 reduction in order to reach a workable compromise in the trilogue negotiations. Germany, as an important voice in Europe, should reconsider its negotiating position in this sense."

Environmental organizations, on the other hand, mostly welcomed the result. "Today the European Parliament sent a clear signal in the direction of a change in drive system," says Jens Hilgenberg, Head of Transport Policy at BUND. The internal combustion engine is a phased-out model, that must now be clear to everyone involved. From NABU it says: "The EU-Verbrenner-Aus 2035 is a big step and work order at the same time." The federal government must now take urgent measures to ensure that the goal is achieved. The measure does not go far enough for the German Environmental Aid, which calls for an end to combustion engines as early as 2030.

On Wednesday, further votes on the "Fit for 55" legislative package took place in the EU Parliament, with which the EU wants to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and to become climate-neutral by 2050. A reform of EU emissions trading, the heart of European climate policy, initially failed. A majority of MPs rejected a planned extension of the system to buildings and traffic - because they find the specifications too lax. The law was referred back to the Environment Committee for a new compromise. Important votes on a CO2 tariff at the EU's external borders and the climate social fund for low-income households have been postponed.

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