EU countries decide on the climate package – no new registrations of combustion engines from 2035 | News

– by Kate Abnett and Markus Wacket

Luxembourg / Berlin (Reuters) – No petrol or diesel cars will be registered in the EU from 2035.

On Wednesday evening, EU environment ministers agreed on a comprehensive climate protection package, including he would then only allow new cars without CO2 emissions. However, the European Commission is to prepare a proposal that could give a chance to an internal combustion engine with climate-neutral synthetic fuels. On the basis of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” package, the ministers took further decisions with which the EU wants to reduce climate emissions by 55% by 2030: From 2027, a tax on CO2 should apply – similarly to Germany – also on gasoline and oil fuel. Poorer EU citizens should then benefit from the EUR 59 billion climate and social fund by 2032. In addition, free allocation of CO2 emission allowances to industry will be reduced and the price of CO2 will increase.

The resolutions have yet to be approved by the European Commission and the European Parliament. However, it is considered likely that there will be hardly any significant changes as the resolutions are based on Commission proposals and the deliberations in the European Parliament have been partially taken on board. Final agreement is to be reached by the end of the year.

Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) praised the package as a signal of determination: “In the midst of the worst energy crisis in Europe, we launched one of the most comprehensive climate protection packages in the history of the EU.” Together with the “Fit for 55” package, the course was set for the transition of the economy to climate neutrality.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens), who has long campaigned for the complete phase-out of internal combustion engines by 2035, was also pleased and spoke of the enormous progress: “We are sending a clear signal that we need to meet the climate goals. the auto industry the planning security it needs. “

The future of the internal combustion engine has been hotly debated, especially in Germany with a large car industry. The European Commission is now to present a proposal for the use of e-fuels. Time will tell whether it will also apply to passenger cars or just special vehicles. So far, the Commission and the European Parliament have been against this. It is also unclear to what extent this would have had any impact. Almost all manufacturers rely on electric mobility, synthetic fuels will be expensive and difficult to obtain in the near future.

Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner, who strongly advocated the use of e-fuels also in cars, was pleased: There is no doubt that electromobility will be attractive in Germany. “On the other hand, there must be openness to technology.” It is therefore important that internal combustion engines can still be homologated after 2035. “This is exactly what has now been implemented.”

The VDA Automobile Association and the German Industry Federation (BDI) assessed the result differently: “The agreement in the Council leaves much in the dark and still provides for a de facto ban on internal combustion engines in 2035,” VDA president Hildegard Mller criticized. . “In the case of e-fuels, it seems that an open declaration of will was sufficient.” BDI CEO Siegfried Russwurm spoke of a highly problematic decision that apparently was open to technology. However, this means the de facto end of the internal combustion engine. “Openness to technology doesn’t work that way.”

However, the environmental associations were also not fully satisfied: WWF-Germany accused Germany of braking. This applies, for example, to the debate on the internal combustion engine, and the rights of the industry to CO2 emissions should be significantly reduced, said climate expert Viviane Raddatz. BUND Managing Director Antje von Brook said: “Even if we think it is five years too late, 100% emission-free cars by 2035 are a big signal.” However, a clearer commitment to electric cars was desirable.

CO2 PRICE ALSO IN TRANSPORT AND BUILDINGS

In accordance with the decisions of the ministers, the CO2 price for fuel, heating oil or gas in transport and buildings is to be introduced at the same time as part of trading in CO2 emission allowances. Therefore, these certificates will be introduced step by step from 2027. From 2021, Germany is in the lead with a fixed contribution. In return, poorer households are to be supported with income from the sale of rights. In the years 2027-2032, a climate and social fund worth 59 billion euros will be created.

The industry must be prepared for further cuts in free emission allowances. In order to protect against unfair competition from regions with less environmental standards, a border tax on CO2 with a three-year transition period is to be introduced from 2023. However, this is controversial and unpopular in the federal government. Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to establish the so-called a climate club with comparable standards across the continent, which could make the tax redundant.

(Edited by Hans Busemann; If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our editorial team at berlin.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com (for politics and economics) or frankfurt.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com (for companies and markets).)

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