Brussels reaches an agreement with Germany to end combustion cars in 2035
The European Commission (EC) has announced this Saturday that it has reached an agreement for Germany to lift its last-minute veto on the legislation already negotiated and agreed so that from 2035 only cars that do not emit CO2 can be sold in the European Union.
Germany becomes an unpredictable partner in the EU
The regulation on CO2 standards for cars is going to be added to the meeting that the ambassadors of the countries to the EU will hold on Monday, with the aim that the standard is adopted on Tuesday during the meeting of the energy ministers of the Twenty-seven in Brussels, as indicated by European sources.
The ban on the sale of polluting cars from 2035 was already agreed between the European Commission, the governments and the European Parliament, which endorsed the law with the rejection of the PP and the extreme right. However, when the time came for the Council to approve it on March 2, which a priori would be a mere formality, the matter had to disappear from the agenda. German Transport Minister Volker Wissing unexpectedly rejected the plan.
The reason, as recounted by elDiario.es journalist Irene Castro, was that Germany was looking for a guarantee that synthetic fuels (known as fuels) were left out of the ban, so as not to harm the powerful German automobile industry, which specializes in this type of vehicle and not so much in electric ones.
The clash EU-Germany has, from this Saturday, a happy ending. “We have reached an agreement with Germany on the future use of electric fuels in cars,” Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the European Green Deal, announced on Twitter.
The Dutch politician has added that now the Community Executive will work to “get the regulation of CO2 standards for cars adopted as soon as possible” and that the Commission “will quickly continue with the legal steps necessary to implement recital 11”.
For his part, the German Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, has written on his Twitter account that “vehicles with internal combustion engines may continue to be registered after 2035 if they refuel exclusively with fuels that are neutral in CO2 emissions.” “Europe remains technologically neutral,” said the Liberal Democrat.
Last Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already insisted that Berlin and Brussels would be able to reach an agreement for the country to lift the veto.
“I know that journalism is also part of the entertainment industry and it seems silly for us to agree, but it will happen,” said the German president jokingly at a press conference after the European summit held in Brussels, asked about the German blockade of that star measure of the European Union’s climate policy.
The European Parliament has been exhaustive about the impossibility of altering the agreed legal text because it would “kill” not only the community climate policy, but also the credibility of the EU legislative process.
Among the critical member states was Spain, which was stunned by the change in position just before the formal approval procedure, a political dodge so unusual that similar maneuvers cannot be remembered in the past.
Sources from the European Commission consulted by EFE throughout this month have always maintained that the Community Executive was not willing to touch the legal text, although Brussels did offer to find some type of additional declaration that would decongest the problem and a calendar of Actions.
At that same European summit, not a few critical voices of the German position arose. Among them, that of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. “The European Green Deal is a fundamental pillar of our mandate and we will always warn against anything that seeks to undermine or reduce the legislative predictability that we need as the European Union,” Metsola criticized at a press conference after speaking to European leaders.
This new European standard is part of the climate package that the EU wants to promote this legislature to reduce polluting emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and with respect to those of 1990. With this latest ‘yes’ from Germany, the blockade –to which Italy or Hungary had also joined– and it only remains for the issue to return to the agenda of a forthcoming European council of ministers to put the final adoption of the standard to a vote.