The EU once again finds itself with obstacles to overcome in order to ban the sale of combustion vehicles from 2035. Although the proposal has been marked by controversy throughout the approval process, on this occasion Italy and Germany have been responsible to shake the measure. A threat to block the agreement that has been rooted in previous reluctance such as exceptions to biofuels or the cut in emissions, in which they are the last steps in the process for it to move forward.
Germany has once again brought to the table an issue for which it had previously raised its voice. And it is that she defends that exceptions to the norm for biofuels be established. The country, with strong industrial roots in the automobile sector, does not want to close the door on technological development in this area leading to new non-polluting formulas for combustion vehicles. Also considering what companies in the sector have been investing in this way.
The agreement had all the signs of going ahead after the recent ratification, in February, of the European Parliament with the rejection of the right. It was presented as a point without debate for the Twenty-seven scheduled for March 7.
The statements by the German Secretary of State for Transport, Michael Theurer, at the EU Council of Ministers in Stockholm, last Monday, hinted at a change of position as he advocated “other options” beyond the electric car, such as hydrogen and biofuels.
Italy has also expressed its reservations about the measure, in defense of a coexistence of both mobility models, combustion and electric, to avoid harming the automotive industry. The Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, defended that the reduction of CO2 emissions in 2035 be reduced to 90%, instead of the 100% currently set, according to Reuters.
The hopes, in any case, are placed on Germany giving in to a promise of a proposal from the Community Executive in the review scheduled for 2026 with exceptions for biofuels. The reservations to the German approach, focus on how realistic is the reduction of emissions from biofuels.
To carry out the measure, a qualified majority is needed among the Twenty-seven. And to the blockade of Italy and Germany could be added that of Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria, already reluctant to the proposal in the agreement at ambassadorial level last November.
Although the ban on the sale of combustion vehicles from 2035 has not been without controversy, after more than a year of tense negotiations, the European Commission, the Member States and the European Parliament reached an agreement in October on the so-called trilogues. A point in the negotiation in which it is rare to take steps back.