Denmark calls for EU plan to phase out diesel and petrol cars

(EurActiv, 7 Oct 2019) Denmark, backed by 10 other European Union countries, on Friday (4 October) called for a strategy to phase out diesel and petrol cars, including allowing the ban of sales at national-level by 2030 to combat climate change.

Denmark made the proposal during a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg.

Incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Danish delegation argued that to achieve this the transport sector needs to decrease its emissions.

Transport is currently the only sector where emissions are still growing.

The EU aims to cut carbon emissions in the bloc by 40% by 2030 while the Commission plans to reduce them to a net-zero level by 2050 to help stop global warming. An update to the 2030 target is on the cards while the 2050 plan is still blocked in Council.

“We need to acknowledge that we are in a bit of a hurry,” Danish Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen told Reuters after the meeting.

Denmark made headlines in October 2018 when its government announced that it would ban the sale of all new fossil fuel-powered cars by 2030 but it subsequently scrapped the idea because this would have breached EU rules.

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EurActiv, 7 Oct 2019: Denmark calls for EU plan to phase out diesel and petrol cars