I.Shortly before the presentation of the “Fit-for-55” climate package, a heated dispute broke out in the European Commission about the new carbon dioxide requirements for cars. It is true that the first drafts for the new rules that envisage an end to the internal combustion engine in 2035 were circulating in Brussels at the weekend. By 2030, emissions are expected to drop by 65 percent. The FAZ has a draft. According to information from this newspaper, however, there is strong resistance within the Commission. For example, EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, the influential French Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton and Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean are urging manufacturers not to require that new cars emit carbon dioxide until 2040.
The French government has also apparently lobbied strongly against strict guidelines in recent days. The responsible Commission Vice-President and Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans is pushing for a 100 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2035. So far there is no goal for this. Manufacturers currently only have to reduce emissions by 37.5 percent by 2030 compared to 2021. It is not a matter of prescribing the switch from the internal combustion engine to the electric car, according to Timmermans. The proposal is technology-neutral. In fact, as things stand now, there is no alternative to the electric car if emissions have to drop to zero, the Commission says, but ultimately also relatively openly.
The new carbon dioxide specifications for cars are part of the “Fit for 55” climate package that the EU Commission intends to present in Brussels this Wednesday. With the package, it puts forward more than a dozen proposals on how the EU can reduce its emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This also includes a new emissions trading scheme for traffic and buildings, stricter savings targets for industry and energy producers, the creation of a climate social fund and specifications for how the infrastructure for alternative fuels is to be expanded. Last but not least, the Commission wants to use the latter to make it easier for the automotive industry to switch to carbon dioxide-free vehicles. The commission wants to stipulate that the states have to create a charging station for electric cars every 60 kilometers along the most important traffic axes – in Germany that would be motorways and many federal highways. To this end, money from the new climate social fund is to be redistributed within the EU.
Timmermans is evidently counting on the fact that sufficient promises to cushion the consequences of the changeover can also convince the critics in the commission. The decision about when the emissions of new cars must drop to zero is ultimately made by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, the body of the EU member states. Only if they accept the Commission proposal can it come into force. You can change it in the legislative process and in this way also give the manufacturers more time for the change.