Germany has proposed an amendment to the directive to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars in Europe, requiring from 2035 only “climate-neutral fuel” vehicles to register. We are learning in Luxembourg on the sidelines of the Environment Council where European ministers are being asked to adopt a common position to negotiate the final instrument with the European Parliament and the European Commission. The exception, as far as we know, will apply to limited uses.
The German settlement proposal appeals to Italy, a country that has spoken with Slovakia, Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania against the idea of banning internal combustion cars by 2035.
Italy in favor of a German proposal
“We have made clear what is needed to make the proposal acceptable to us” to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035: achieve technology neutrality through the use of carbon neutral fuels after 2035; Implementation of the phasing out of internal combustion engines for small trucks, using technology appropriate for heavy vehicles; Considering specific exceptions for small construction companies.” Thus, the Minister for Environmental Transformation, Roberto Cingolani, said at the Environment Council, “We are very satisfied with the amendment proposed by Germany, it is going in the direction we hope.”
Instead, the original European Commission proposal, approved by the European Parliament, calls for a ban by 2035 on the sale of petrol and diesel cars.
Tensions in the German government
There is no shortage of tensions even within individual countries over this issue, beginning with Germany. Economy and Environment Ministers Robert Habeck and Stevie Lemke, both from the Green Party, expressed support for the commission’s proposal with an emphasis on “opening up” to technology neutrality. However, the statements were not impressed by Finance Minister Christian Lindner, in favor of more decisive support for synthetic fuels. “The words of the Minister of Environment are surprising. It does not conform to conventions – which thundered liberalism on Twitter -. Carbon dioxide-free fuel combustion engines should also be allowed as technology in all vehicles after 2035. Our approval is binding on that.”
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