2035 will be a pivotal year
The date had for a long time been in the offing, but had not yet been set in stone.
In fact, it still isn’t — the initiative approved on 8th June, in the European Parliament (EP), has to be negotiated with the different Member States — but a volte-face seems increasingly unlikely and 2035 will definitely be the year from which sales of new cars with combustion engines will no longer be permitted. Which effectively means a ban on sales of any cars which aren’t electric.
This measure formed an integral part of the “Fit for 55” legislative package, designed to ensure that the European Union (EU) achieves climate neutrality by 2050. As expected, discussions were tense. Although on this issue at least it was possible to reach a compromise — the text includes interim goals proposed by the European Commission (EC), namely a 15% cut in car emissions by 2025 rising to 55% by 2030 — there were other areas where the Member States were unable to reach an agreement. One of these was the reshaping of the carbon market, where the proposal regarding the sale of emissions permits was rejected. It was also decided to delay voting on the proposal to create a new Social Climate Fund, which aims to help EU citizens most affected or at risk of energy or mobility poverty. On the plus side, it was agreed that more binding goals need to be set for CO2 capture by “carbon sinks” (such as forests or land use).
Note that, although approved, this measure is not yet definitive, since final approval always requires consensus by the 27 Member States, meeting within the European Council. There will be more news (and discussion soon) on the 29th, in Luxembourg, date on which the Council of Ministers for the Environment is held.