EU passes law to ban sale of CO2-emitting cars by 2035

A phase-out on the sale of polluting vehicles has been given the final approval to become law in the EU. Opposition from Germany had delayed the legislation for weeks.

EU passes law to ban sale of CO2-emitting cars by 2035
EU passes law to ban sale of CO2-emitting cars by 2035


Final approval was given on Tuesday for a law that will bring an end to the sale of vehicles running on CO2-emitting fuels by 2035, Swedish Energy Minister Ebba Busch announced.

Energy ministers from the 27 member states gave the go-ahead for the contested law which had been delayed for weeks by Germany's Transport Minister Volker Wissing.

A compromise was agreed between Brussels and Berlin on Saturday that will allow the sale of cars and vans that run on so-called climate-neutral e-fuels which use synthetic fuels produced with captured carbon.

The move is an attempt to curb the bloc's CO2 emissions which have a major impact on global warming and the subsequent plethora of dangerous effects on the planet.

Transport is accountable for around 25% of the EU's emissions.

Pushback on the phase-out

Although Germany was able to water down the law, it was not the only member state to raise opposition. Poland's energy minister voted against the law while representatives from Romania, Italy and Bulgaria abstained.

Opposition has stemmed from fears of the rising costs of vehicles. Italy had also pushed for an exemption to be made for biofuels.

Not only governments but also car producers had pushed back on the phase-out. German luxury car manufacturer Porsche and Italian producer Ferrari had complained that the necessary batteries for electric cars would be too heavy for their vehicles.

Other carmakers, such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Ford are already betting on electric vehicles amid a push to find moderate solutions to reducing carbon emissions.

Germany's important car-manufacturing industry, as well as a general love of cars, has been seen as the main reason for its own pushback.

Transport Minister Wissing and his pro-market Free Democrats — a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition government — had raised a last-minute objection that had thwarted EU efforts to briskly pass through the legislation.

But the German compromise has come under fire for weakening the bloc's environmental ambitions, with critics pointing out that e-fuels are expensive and energy-intensive, requiring about five times more renewable electricity than simply running a battery electric vehicle.

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