Lawmakers back EU-wide ban on new fossil fuel cars from 2035, despite strong lobbying

(EurActiv, 12 May 2022) Lawmakers in the European Parliament’s environment committee voted to uphold a proposed ban on the sale of polluting vehicles from 2035 but narrowly rejected proposals for stricter 2030 targets on cars and vans that would have made the transition smoother.

The vote came amid intense lobbying, as industry sought to shape future vehicle emission standards.

MEPs adhered closely to the European Commission’s original proposal, with lawmakers refusing to back calls to heighten or water down targets.

Centrist Dutch MEP Jan Huitema, the lead lawmaker on the file, had pushed to increase the Commission’s goal of a 55% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2021 levels up to 70%. The aim was to ensure a smoother transition towards the 2035 end goal of reaching zero emissions.

Efforts to insert a 2027 interim target to bridge the gap between the 20% cut required in 2025 and the 55% reduction required in 2030 was similarly rejected by lawmakers.

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) group were the most vocal opponents of increased targets. Together with the conservative European Conservatives & Reformists (ECR), they had sought to replace the de facto ban on fossil and diesel vehicles by 2035 with a 90% emissions reduction target. This too, was rejected by the committee.

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EurActiv, 12 May 2022: Lawmakers back EU-wide ban on new fossil fuel cars from 2035, despite strong lobbying