Friday, December 02, 2022

EU lawmakers vote to ban the sale of new gas cars until 2035

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by Angela Dewan | Nation World News

Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday to ban the sale of new combustion engine cars until 2035, which would be one of the world’s strongest laws to phase out gasoline vehicles if approved by the European Council.

While the measure still needs to be debated by the Council and passed into law, the parliamentary vote is seen as the most important step in the process. Full approval would mean a drop in sales of hybrid cars and a faster transition to fully electric models.

Support for the measure comes after Wednesday’s disapproval of other major climate policies.

A centre-right parliamentary faction opposed the 100% ban by 2035. Some lawmakers called for a 90% ban instead, meaning one-tenth of all new car sales could still be combustion engines.

“I am very relieved and pleased with the result,” said Dutch MP Jan Huitema, who drafted the policy.

Parliament had previously rejected three other major proposals, including the center’s policy to reform its carbon market.

German MP Peter Liese told reporters on Wednesday that his centre-right EPP group does not support a 100% ban, adding that combustion vehicles may still be useful, with the trend around low-carbon synthetic fuels over time. The technology should improve.

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“We don’t think politicians should decide whether electric vehicles or synthetic fuels are the best option. I personally believe that most consumers will buy electric cars if we give them the necessary infrastructure and that’s what we need to do.” needed.”

He said it is possible that combustion cars using synthetic fuels could become more competitive than electric vehicles in the future. They may also be more realistic for the many developing countries in Africa and Asia – those who buy European cars – especially if those countries are unable to move to renewable energy-based economies in the next few decades, Liese said.

The commission first announced plans to phase out combustion engine cars in August last year. To facilitate the transition to electric cars, the commission said the 27 EU member states would need to expand vehicle charging capacity. Charging points will be installed every 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) on major highways, and the minimum tax rate for gasoline and diesel fuel will be raised.

The auto industry plays an important role in Europe’s economy, accounting for 7% of GDP and supporting 14.6 million jobs in the sector. But transportation is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions are rising, and road vehicles accounted for 21% of CO2 emissions in 2017.

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The UK, which is no longer in the European Union, announced last year that it would ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2030, with sales of some new hybrids continuing until 2035.

The vote in favor of the measure followed Parliament’s shock rejection of EU proposals to create a more ambitious emissions trading scheme, a carbon limit tax and a social climate fund.

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