Now it’s fixed: the EU finally decides to phase out combustion engines to a large extent
After weeks of blockade, the project has finally been decided: From 2035, new cars will be subject to significantly stricter climate protection requirements. You will then no longer be allowed to emit any additional greenhouse gases while driving.
From 2035, new cars that run on petrol or diesel will no longer be allowed to be sold in the EU. The EU states finally decided on Tuesday to largely end new cars with combustion engines after the decision had been blocked by Germany for weeks. However, the federal government pushed through that even after 2035 it should still be possible to re-register combustion cars that are fueled exclusively with climate-friendly synthetic fuels.
Actually, negotiators from the EU states and the European Parliament had already agreed on the project at the end of October. In an unusual procedure, however, the federal government made additional demands and thus delayed the confirmation of the negotiation result by several weeks. The FDP in particular has campaigned for so-called e-fuels.
E-fuels can be produced using renewable electricity from water and carbon dioxide extracted from the air. Unlike petrol or diesel, they do not release any additional climate-damaging gases. Critics complain, among other things, that they are needed more urgently in shipping and aviation.
Regret about «loophole»
“This paves the way for 100 percent emission-free mobility,” said Austria’s Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler before a meeting of EU ministers responsible for energy on Tuesday. She is glad that the blockade has been resolved. “I think it’s a shame that a loophole was needed to take procrastinators along the way.” On Friday evening, the federal government reached an agreement with the EU Commission on the compromise on the use of e-fuels.
However, whether a relevant number of combustion engines will be approved after 2035 is completely open. Car expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer cites the high cost of producing the fuel and the “creepy energy balance” as arguments against such drives – an extremely large amount of electricity is consumed during production. The industry still has to build such cars.
Compromise should be carefully examined
There are also remaining doubts as to whether the exceptions for e-fuels can be implemented as agreed by the EU Commission and Germany. E-fuel cars are also to be included in the EU regulations by a so-called delegated act. This is issued by the EU Commission, but the EU Parliament and the EU states can raise objections for two months.
The SPD member of parliament and professor of European law, René Repasi, has already questioned on Twitter whether the project can be implemented as planned. Green politicians from the European Parliament have also announced that they want to examine the compromise carefully. (dpa/brother)