After Zoff between FDP and Greens: Traffic light agrees on a common position on the combustion engine off
Created: 06/29/2022, 05:25
By: Florian Naumann
Hours before an important EU vote, the traffic lights were bickering about phasing out combustion engines from 2035. Now a common position has been agreed.
Update from June 28, 7:36 p.m .:
Update from June 28, 7:36 p.m .:
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing was pleased about the agreement within the traffic light on the future of combustion cars.
This clears the way for approval in the EU Council of Ministers, said the FDP politician in Berlin.
A ban on the internal combustion engine is "off the table".
The federal government has agreed that vehicles with combustion engines should also be re-registered after 2035 if they can be proven to be operated only with e-fuels, explained Wissing.
The EU Commission will submit a concrete proposal on this.
This has always been the concern of the FDP and corresponds to what is laid out in the coalition agreement.
“The fact that there were different interpretations of this was a problem.
But we solved this today.”
Controversy over combustion engines resolved: traffic light agrees on a compromise
Update from June 28, 5:14 p.m .:
Update from June 28, 5:14 p.m .:
During the negotiations at EU level, the federal government agreed on a common position on the possible end of new combustion cars from 2035.
As a government spokesman announced on Tuesday, the federal government supports an emerging proposal by the Council on fleet limits as a "contribution on the way to climate-neutral mobility".
Luxembourg/Berlin - The traffic light coalition including the Greens could slow down the EU-wide end of the combustion engine - under pressure from the FDP: Hours before a planned vote by the EU environment ministers, the government alliance was arguing about its position, FDP Boss Christian Lindner even publicly raised allegations.
The situation is confusing and the signals from those involved are sometimes difficult to interpret.
According to information from the dpa, Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) endorsed the ban on combustion engines from 2035 at the decisive meeting. Against the will of the FDP.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also intervened at noon.
Ampel-Zoff: Lindner senses violation of the coalition agreement - dispute about the combustion engine
It seems clear that without Germany's approval, the plan that has already been approved by the EU Commission and the EU Parliament will fail;
a registration freeze for new cars with combustion engines from 2035. According to a report in the
, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Portugal and Slovakia have announced a "no".
An explicit "yes" from the Federal Republic is now necessary in order to reach the quorum of 65 percent of the EU population among the consenting states in the Council of Environment Ministers.
But the FDP urgently wants an exception - for cars powered by synthetic fuels.
NATO counters Putin's nuclear threat: Agreed in Elmau, nervous in the Kremlin
Russia now controls Luhansk almost completely - but US experts now see a disadvantage for Putin
Germany could now torpedo the plans or at least slow them down.
The devil is in the detail.
Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) enraged Lindner on Tuesday morning with her announcement of approval - although at least she herself saw her position covered by the coalition agreement.
Lemke announced in the ZDF morning magazine that he would support the goal "that from 2035 no more cars will be registered that emit CO2".
Lindner whistled back the green.
“The statements made by the Environment Minister about the end of combustion engines are surprising.
They do not correspond to the agreements," he tweeted, referring to the ZDF interview.
“Combustion engines with CO2-free fuels should also be possible as a technology in all vehicles after 2035.
Our approval is bound to that.” He had previously explained to the dpa that the FDP ministries had not yet given the go-ahead for the vote internally.
Combustion engine off splits traffic lights: Ministers Lindner and Lemke in a clinch
The dispute is complex.
One keyword is "car".
The other "CO2".
On Tuesday morning, Lemke said on the radio station rbb24 that there should be an exception to the ban on combustion engines for “other vehicles” such as airplanes or fire engines.
These vehicles should continue to run on synthetic fuels.
On the other hand, Lindner once again explicitly demanded on Twitter that combustion engines with CO2-free fuels should also be possible “in all vehicles” after 2035.
The chancellor party SPD was originally on the side of the Greens.
Synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, are usually produced from water and CO2 using electricity.
For a contribution to climate protection, however, it is relevant where the electricity comes from.
However, the question of the origin of the electricity also arises in the case of pure electromobility.
However, critics also note that there are already too few of these “green” synthetic fuels for aviation and shipping, which are less easy to run electrically than cars or vans.
In addition, it is more energy-intensive to operate cars with e-fuels than to drive them directly electrically.
Traffic light noise: Lemke makes you sit up and take notice again, but acts against the FDP plan – Scholz comments
A little later, Lemke's words sounded a little different.
On site in Luxembourg, she proposed an exception that was "very important" for the German position.
The EU Commission should therefore submit a proposal "for the approval of vehicles after 2035 that are operated exclusively with CO2-neutral fuels".
The word “fuels” seems interesting.
The FDP calls for e-fuels as a contribution to “technology openness”.
According to dpa, Lemke advocated a possible end for new combustion engines in cars from 2035 at the decisive meeting of the EU countries, despite criticism from the FDP.
At his closing press conference for the G7 summit, Scholz rejected the impression that there was a fierce coalition dispute.
Many proposals are still being developed at EU level, so that interim results do not make sense.
"But we actually agree to act as one," he emphasized.
Scholz emphasized that the coalition agreement, which describes the plans in detail, is the benchmark for the traffic light government.
Emission-free drives are the focus, but one also wants to make it possible for 2035 cars to be registered with e-fuels, for example.
Greens under FDP pressure: Habeck sees no problem – CDU attests “embarrassing picture”
Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) did not want to see any German problem on Tuesday: "Well, it's a day when we go in well prepared, as the German government voted, prepared, go in, but of course we also know that we have a significant one in Europe play a role in making it a successful day in the end," he said in Luxembourg.
"The federal government gives an embarrassing picture," said the CDU MEP Jens Gieseke.
According to the dpa, CSU General Secretary Martin Huber called for combustion engines to be phased out only after 2040 – and only for fossil fuels.
However, turbulent and possibly even uncoordinated votes by Germany at EU level are nothing new.
In 2017, CSU Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt voted to continue using the weed poison glyphosate - to the dismay of the SPD, but also parts of the CSU.
Schmid is now the High Representative of the UN in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The European Commission's proposal on exhaust emissions is part of the climate package with which the EU intends to reduce its CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
The political situation remains confusing: even if the EU Council says no to the plans, Parliament could intervene again.
Even the vote on Tuesday could be delayed until late at night.
fn with material from AFP and dpa
Vote with us.