Traffic jam

EU approved to phase out of fossil fuel cars, Italy’s PM thinks it is unreasonable

The European Union reached an agreement last week regarding a law that will effectively ban the sale of new fossil fuel – gasoline and diesel – cars beginning in 2035. It is an effort to hasten the transition to electric vehicles and battle climate change.

Negotiators from the EU countries, the European Parliament, which must approve new EU laws, and the European Commission, which drafts new laws, agreed that carmakers must achieve a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2035 in order to prevent the sale of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the 27-nation bloc.

What do you mean: No more fossil fuel cars?

The deal the EU reached mandated a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions for new automobiles sold starting in 2030 compared to 2021 levels, above the previous goal of a 37.5% reduction by that time.

They must reduce the CO2 emissions from new vans by 50% by 2030 compared to 2021 levels and by 100% by 2035.

The pressure from regulators on automakers to reduce their carbon impact has led to many of them announcing investments in electrification. Before the end of the year, Thomas Schaefer, the CEO of Volkswagen, already said that starting in 2033, the company will only make electric vehicles in Europe.

Meloni: It is really bad for Italy’s economic interests

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni thinks the European Union’s plan to virtually outlaw the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles starting in 2035 is illogical and detrimental to Italy’s economic interests.

She said she does not think it’s rational. Meloni thinks it’s really bad for the Italian manufacturing sector.

The statement of Meloni came a day after the EU approved an effective ban on new fossil fuel cars from 2035 the week before the end of the year.

EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans disagrees and said the agreement sent a powerful signal to industry and consumers. He added Europe is embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility.

Banning fossil fuel cars is not going to drive smoothly

But, Italian PM Meloni is not alone. When the EU rule was initially suggested in July 2021, some received it with some opposition. The European Automobile Industry Association (ACEA) warned against outright bans and called for internal combustion engines and hydrogen-powered vehicles to play a part in the low-carbon transition.

The EU will draft a proposal on how vehicles powered by CO2-neutral fuels could be sold after 2035, according to a deal reached on Thursday.

Up until 2036, when they will be subject to the zero-emission mandate, small automakers that produce fewer than 10,000 vehicles annually are allowed to negotiate reduced targets.

Phase-out of fossil fuel cars is one of three EU commitments

This bill that ended the year 2022 is the first of a larger set of new EU regulations. They are intent on achieving the bloc’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are yet to be finalized.

In an effort to demonstrate that the union is moving forward with its climate targets despite an impending recession and skyrocketing energy prices, Brussels is seeking agreements on two further measures from the package promised in time for the United Nations climate conference in November.

A law to ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars in the EU by 2035, an expansion of Europe’s natural CO2-absorbing “sinks” like forests, and enforceable national emissions-reduction targets are among the initiatives the EU said will be set on a fast track.