Brussels and Berlin reach agreement on banning combustion engines in 2035 – POLITICO

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The European Commission and Germany announced a deal on Saturday morning that will allow the continued sale of combustion-engined cars running exclusively on synthetic e-fuels even after legislation imposing a zero-sales policy comes into effect. emission only from 2035.

“We have reached an agreement with Germany on the future use of e-fuels in cars,” said European Commission Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans. Twitter, confirming that an agreement had been reached. “We will now work to get the regulations on CO2 standards for cars passed as soon as possible.”

Timmermans added that the Commission would “follow quickly” with the “legal steps” needed to turn a non-binding appendix to the law, introduced at the insistence of the German titan of EU car marking, into a concrete workaround for allow new vehicles to run on e-fuels, which emit CO2, which will be sold after 2035.

It’s unclear exactly how the Commission plans to do this, but it has agreed to create a new category for e-fuel vehicles in the existing Euro 6 car regulations and then “integrate” it into the controversial e-fuels legislation. CO2 standards which mandates the phase-out date of 2035.

“We want the process to be completed by autumn 2024,” said Germany’s transport ministry, led by Germany’s Liberal Democratic Party. The party, the youngest in Germany’s three-party governing coalition, had wanted fixed legal language to secure a loophole for e-fuels, which can theoretically be CO2-neutral but would not normally comply with emissions legislation since they do so still emit exhaust pollutants.

The issue dominated discussions on the sidelines of this week’s EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, but an agreement was not reached until 9pm on Friday.

The crux of the stalemate was that Germany demanded binding legal language that would ensure that the Commission would find a way to meet its demands even if the European Parliament or the courts decided to block any adjustments or legal annexes to the zero emissions legislation of 2035 covering cars and vans.

“The way is clear,” said German Transport Minister Volker Wissing when announcing the deal. “We have secured opportunities for Europe by keeping important options open for climate-neutral and affordable mobility.”

The deal means Germany effectively dropped its last-minute opposition to the Car Engine Ban Act, collapsing a blocking minority that had put a stumbling block on ministers’ final ratification of a firm deal concluded last October between the three EU institutions.

It remains unclear whether Italy’s attempts to find a separate biofuel workaround have also been secured. However, without Berlin’s support, Rome has no means of blocking the legislation on its own.

The deal means energy ministers could potentially approve the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.


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