– Important decisions are waiting in Luxembourg that will break the coalition in Berlin. An exciting question is forward-looking for both citizens and industry: How is Germany voting to phase out internal combustion engines?
Shortly before the decisive EU vote on a possible end for new internal combustion cars from 2035, a heated dispute is raging in the federal government. It is about the position of Germany. On Tuesday, EU environment ministers will vote on the future of combustion cars.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has rejected statements by Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) – Lemke said there is a coordinated position in the federal government.
– Today’s statements of the environment minister are surprising because they do not correspond to the current agreements – said the head of the FDP of the German news agency on Tuesday. “Combustion engines with CO2-free fuels should also be possible as a technology in all vehicles after 2035.”
drive the transition
This involves the approval of fleet quotas. “The ministries led by the FDP have therefore not yet approved the federal government vote,” Lindner stressed.
He reacted to Lemke’s statements in ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. The green politician there said: “If the package has what we want, no CO2 emitting cars after 2035, we will agree.” It is about promoting the transition to electromobility. In addition, it should be clarified that other fuels can also be used outside the car sector. She made a similar statement at a key meeting of EU ministers.
Lemke and Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) made it clear before the start of consultations at EU level that there was a coordinated position in the federal government. “Well this is the day we enter well prepared, as the German government voted, we have prepared ourselves, we have entered but of course we also know that we have a key role to play in Europe, that it will be a successful day at the end,” said Habeck.
Long negotiations expected
Lemke said: “We represent a common line of government that on the one hand wants to support a strong reduction of CO2 for the transport sector, and on the other hand wants to guarantee openness to technology.”
Both ministers expect long negotiations in the dispute over a possible ban on the sale of new combustion cars. “We’re getting ready for a long day or even a short night,” Lemke said. You expect difficult conversations. There is also pressure from the European Commission to reach agreement. “It would be a tragedy if we could not come to any conclusions today,” said Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans. Don’t waste any time.
The European Parliament has already voted in favor of banning new internal combustion engines from 2035. Were the Member States to do so, the path for the project would be clear.
However, the FDP insists that vehicles with internal combustion engines can also be registered after 2035 if it can be proved that they run exclusively on e-fuels.
In the case of alternative fuels, cars and vans should also be able to be operated in a climate-neutral manner. Critics note, however, that there are already too few “green” fuels for aviation and shipping, which are less easy to drive electrically than passenger cars or vans. In addition, it is more energy-intensive to run e-fuel cars than to run them directly electrically.
Reform of the EU Emissions Trading System
In addition to the de facto ban on new passenger cars and vans with internal combustion engines from 2035, EU environment ministers are also trying to agree a common position on reforming the EU’s emissions trading and the billion-dollar climate fund.
According to Habeck, Germany has a clear position on the climate social fund, which is to ease the burden on citizens. It was recognized that countries facing greater social challenges need support. But neither should you cut off from the needs of your own countries. “And understanding between them is certainly difficult,” said Habeck. Initially, Germany opted for a smaller fund, while poorer countries want more social equality.