It is the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine in the European Union as environment ministers from the 27 countries have agreed to sign the ICE’s execution warrant. More than 16 hours of negotiations were necessary to reach an agreement at a meeting in Luxembourg focused on ways to combat climate change in the EU. The ban refers strictly to sales of new cars and vans powered by gasoline and diesel engines.
The Council also agreed to introduce a 100% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2035 for new cars and vans. The meeting of national ministers also agreed to other targets related to the Fit for 55 greenhouse gas reduction package that aims to reduce Europe’s carbon emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. These include a 61 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 via the union’s cap-and-trade scheme, which will be expanded to include shipping and will be bolstered by a mechanism to reduce price spikes in the carbon price.
A new, separate emissions trading scheme will be created for the building and road transport sectors.
Technically speaking, the 2035 ban calls for a complete reduction of emissions, without mentioning the combustion engine. The decisions taken today will have huge consequences across the automotive industry as automakers will accelerate the switch to EVs even further.