EU lawmakers support proposals for a ban on petrol and diesel cars 

As part of the EU’s broader climate change policies, the European Parliament recently backed a new plan to effectively ban all new petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2035 onwards. 

The proposal, which was supported by the committee, was for a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025. This would make it impossible for cars powered by fossil fuels to be sold. It is part of a larger package announced last year that’s designed to reduce carbon emissions. 

Committee members worked off the basis that cars tend to stay on the road for 10 to 15 years. This means that to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, 2035 is the latest date the EU can stop selling polluting cars to reach its targets. 

What are the EU’s climate targets? 

In 2016, the EU signed up for the Paris Agreement, which set out targets of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The EU and its Member States are among the nearly 190 Parties signed up to this agreement. 

The European Commission released proposals in 2017 to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by 2020 by introducing incentives to encourage manufacturers to produce more zero and low emission vehicles. The aim of these measures was to ensure cars and vans emit 15% less CO2 by 2025, and 30% less by 2030.

A report from the following year found that the EU was on track to reach its target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2030. However,  most climate experts agreed that an emissions reduction of 40% isn’t enough to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

Tougher targets for cutting emissions 

The committee has supported tougher measures for cutting emissions, and in the coming months, the European Parliament will vote on the final rules. 

By speeding up the shift to zero-emissions alternatives, the EU hopes to tackle the rising emissions from the transport sector, which has become an issue in recent years. 

A number of major manufacturers have already agreed to stop selling combustion engine cars in Europe by 2035, but industry experts have warned that these targets can only be met if the EU supports a major rollout of infrastructure to support it, like more public charging points. 

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