June 2, 2023

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The European Commission is satisfied that member states have adopted rules on CO2 emissions for new cars, but the last word has yet to be said | News

The European Commission on Thursday “welcomes” the final approval by EU ministers of new emissions standards. “The text I negotiated for the European Parliament remains unchanged and sets a clear target for new zero-emission cars from 2035,” says Liberal MP Jan Hetema. From January 1, 2035, only new cars and vans may be sold CO2-neutral, but e-fuels will still be hotly debated.

The new rules were met with protests from several member states, including Italy, Poland and, at the last minute, Germany. As a result, the final vote of European ministers was postponed. Only after a political agreement between the Germans and the Commissariat did the voting begin. In the end, only Italy, Poland and Finland officially protested during the vote, but it wasn’t enough to stop the legislation.

The rules are in effect from next month, deadline in 2035

in the list, That will come into force across the European Union next monthstates that new cars and vans may emit 100 percent less carbon dioxide from 2035 than from 2021. On paper, this means that on December 31, 2034 you can still buy a car that emits a little bit of carbon dioxide, but The next day you can only buy CO2 buy free cars.

In practice, the goal of the various European institutions is that by then the auto industry will have built many cars that emit little or no carbon dioxide, making them cheaper for consumers. This is what the Council of the European Union hopes for. These don’t necessarily have to be electric cars – the text also mentions hydrogen cars – but in practice you’ll come down to that. Many car brands are already investing heavily in this.

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Germany wants e-fuel

What Germany managed to get out after its liberal transport minister was uncooperative is a sentence that has been in the public eye for months. Text It reads: “After consultation with stakeholders, the Commission will submit a proposal for registration after 2035 of vehicles that, in accordance with Union law, operate exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels, outside the scope of fleet standards, and in line with the Union’s climate-neutral goal.”

This relates to the famous e-fuel: fuel that chemical plants make using, among other things, carbon dioxide captured elsewhere. The carbon dioxide will still come out of the exhaust pipe, but it must be removed from the air during the e-fuel production.

commission promises That as soon as the legislation becomes effective to start. It wants to use the so-called “delegated law” or amend existing laws for this. They don’t have to go through the whole complex procedure like other legislative amendments, but the European Parliament and member states can veto.

There is still debate

So the seed for future conflict was immediately sown. MEP Huitema already referred to it his response As of Tuesday: “Potential future proposals on the use of e-fuels will be thoroughly evaluated, both in terms of content and legal basis.”

If the Commission’s proposal is rejected by parliament or member states, it will use “another legislative route”, as the EU Executive Council has already said. So that goes on.