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EU Nations Approve Historic Law To Ensure Sale Of Zero Emission Cars From 2035

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Member countries of the European Union (EU) have consented to a landmark law to ensure all new cars sold from 2035 onwards must have zero emissions. While Poland voted against the law, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania formally did not vote.

For weeks, the agreement was delayed as Germany appealed for exempting cars that ran on e-fuels. These fuels are said to be carbon neutral as they utilize captured CO2 emissions to maintain the stability levels of the gas released from the combustion of fuel in the engine.

It was expected that the new law would make it impossible to sell internal combustion engine cars in the European Union from 2035. However, Germany’s immunity will now support those with traditional cars, regardless of e-fuels not being produced at a large scale.

The EU will explain how e-fuel-only cars will be sold later this year.

According to the European Commission, the CO2, the greenhouse gas, emitted in the entire EU is about 12% from passenger cars and 2.5% from vans.

The United Nations pointed out early March that the world was expected to miss a target to limit the increasing global temperatures to 1.5C.

The new law ensures all new cars sold from 2035 should have zero CO2 emissions and that CO2 emissions must be 55% lower from 2030 in comparison to the levels in 2021. 

Germany’s late opposition angered some of the EU diplomats after EU countries and politicians had voted for the 2035 phase out. 

Teresa Ribera, Spanish energy minister, said, “As a matter of principle, we don’t like this approach. We think it is not fair”, and added that the current evaluation unveiled that e-fuels were not feasible enough to be used widely.

While supporters of e-fuels, including Porsche and Ferrari, see this as a chance to prevent their cars to bear the weight of heavy batteries, carmakers including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford, will use electric vehicles to decarbonize.

Volker Wissing, German transport minister, stated that Tuesday’s agreement is expected to “open up important options for the population towards climate-neutral and affordable mobility”.

“The direction of travel is clear: in 2035, new cars and vans must have zero emissions”, the EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said.

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