After an unexpected veto from Germany -the country of the automotive industry par excellence in Europe-, which has kept the agreement blocked for weeks, the European Union has definitively approved this Tuesday the law that will prohibit from 2035 sales in Community territory of all new cars and vans with combustion engines.
Berlin has achieved an exception for engines powered by so-called
, neutral fuels that are produced with green energy.
The text of the agreement hardly changes, but "provides details" on the steps to be taken in applying the regulation, explained the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.
Details that will serve to incorporate the permit for these synthetic fuels into community regulations and that are part of a broader package —the so-called Fit for 55—, which seeks to guarantee that the EU reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in al less than 55% compared to 1990 levels.
The agreement is designed to drive the rapid decarbonisation of new car fleets in Europe.
Now, a legal provision has been introduced to endorse the sale of new cars that run on
, much more expensive and still not widely used, but which can be used in combustion engines and are climate neutral.
The climate objectives pursued by the pact are maintained and the fate of the combustion engine is sealed.
However, what happened with the European agreement, the way in which Germany kept it blocked for weeks ―fundamentally for reasons of national politics since it was the liberals of the FDP, one of the three partners in the coalition that governs the country, who they pushed—have raised tensions not only about Berlin's position as an unreliable partner, but also about future similar moves by other countries.
Only Poland has voted against the agreement this Tuesday at the meeting of energy ministers in Brussels, so with the majority system it has gone ahead.
Warsaw has referred to “untransparent last-minute” negotiations and called the law unrealistic.
“We could not support this regulation.
There has not been enough analysis of the impact of the new points," Polish Transport Minister Anna Moskwa said in Brussels.
Warsaw maintains that the measure will increase the prices of cars.
Meanwhile, Italy (which had also claimed an exception for cars that run on biofuels), Bulgaria and Romania have abstained.
In reality, the text of the agreement that has been voted on is the same one that had already received the green light from the Twenty-seven at the end of last year, since it will only change the regulations for subsequent development, Council sources point out.
The Commission added a political declaration – which is not legally binding – in which it undertakes to present a “robust and evasion-proof” regulation in which the German request will be included.
Brussels will present a rule in autumn that will specify this exception for
for passenger cars and light vehicles.
These fuels were already mentioned in the agreement, as claimed by Germany and Italy, but the Commission wanted to postpone the issue until 2026. The German episode also makes visible that progress in measures to combat the climate crisis may be increasingly difficult, say sources from Brussels.
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