Pascal Canfin, head of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, says in an interview with HS that the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engines from 2035 will receive a lot of support.
Internal combustion engine cars the reign of Europe may come to an end as early as this summer. The European Commission is currently preparing a major climate package, which will also include tightening emission limits for cars and vans.
Many expect the Commission to exert such severe pressure that sales of new internal combustion engines will virtually end in Europe in 2035.
The chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment is also in favor of this Pascal Canfin.
“There is a broad consensus that the right time to give up internal combustion engines is in 2035,” he says.
“Personally, I think 2030 is too soon from an industry perspective. It would be too short a time for such a massive change and we would not be able to manage the impact on regions and jobs. ”
On the other hand, 2040 is too late from a climate perspective, Canfin estimates.
“Carbon neutrality will not be achieved by 2050 if new diesel and petrol cars can still be sold in 2040, as their life cycle will exceed 2050.”
This would not be a ban on the use of internal combustion engines, nor would the proposal put an end to the trade in used cars.
Emissions from transport are still significantly higher than in 1990.
Canfinin, 46, the views are important, as the liberal French parliamentarian will play a key role in the reform of EU climate policy.
The EU recently set itself a new, more stringent emission reduction target for 2030. The target is to reduce emissions by 55% since 1990. Next, the top-level target needs to be spread across sectors and climate policy instruments need to be updated to meet the new target.
The Commission will present its proposals for changes in July. The proposals also require the consent of Parliament, and the Committee on the Environment plays a key role in their consideration.
The chairman of the committee has a lot of power when he negotiates with the political groups and builds compromises that a majority of MEPs can stand behind.
Canfinin According to him, the most important parts of the package are the reform of emission standards for cars and vans. It is trying to reduce traffic emissions.
So far, the results in this area are meager. Emissions from transport are still significantly higher than in 1990.
Almost 30% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transport. More than half of this is light road traffic, ie cars and vans.
Now emissions should be reduced sharply. According to the Commission, emissions from the transport sector must be reduced by 90% if the EU is to reach its long – term climate goal of carbon neutrality in 2050.
According to current emission limits, average emissions from passenger cars sold in Europe should be reduced by 37.5% by 2030.
The Transport Research Organization (ICCT) estimates that current regulation is not sufficient to achieve climate goals. Instead, lowering the average emissions limit by 100% – a ban on new internal combustion cars – by 2035 would lead the EU towards carbon neutrality.
Commission the preparation of the presentations is still underway and the content is not yet known.
Tightening emission limits is not the only tool available. The Commission has also said that it is considering extending EU emissions trading to road transport. This would show the price of CO2 to consumers with a petrol pump.
Such actions easily annoy voters. In France, plans to raise fuel taxes sparked yellow vest protests that gathered hundreds of thousands of people on the streets. So it’s no wonder Canfin doesn’t like the idea.
“If we tax fuel, then we also have to take care of the social impact of it. Second, many economists say that demand is not flexible: if you have to pick up a child from school or go to work and there are no options available, you still drive a car but only pay more for it. You still cause the same amount of emissions, ”he says.
“I don’t think the primary tool here is taxes or coal pricing. The number one option is emission standards. ”
The car industry is no longer opposed to tightening emissions targets.
European Union is not alone in considering the abandonment of internal combustion engines. In Britain, the ban will take effect in 2030. California, the largest state in the United States, again plans to ban the sale of new internal combustion engines in 2035, and several states are expected to follow the line.
According to Canfin, the EU should move at the same pace.
“If we set the same deadline for a large part of the US market and the EU market as a whole, manufacturers will of course adjust to it.”
The proposal also receives support among Member States. In the spring, nine countries, led by the Netherlands and Denmark, demanded that the EU ban the sale of new internal combustion engines in 2035. Finland did not take part in the petition.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) considers that: sales of new internal combustion engines in the West should stop in 2035.
Large the change is that the car industry is no longer opposed to tightening emissions targets.
Canfin says it recently hosted an event where automotive lobbyists and NGOs agreed that sales of internal combustion cars could end in 2035.
The world’s largest car manufacturers see their future as electronic, and Volvo, for example, has called for an internal combustion car ban in the EU. The requirements in this area now focus on the EU’s efforts to accelerate the transition to e-transport.
“The big difference is that they now have the technology they need. As battery prices fall and as batteries will soon be manufactured in Europe and not just imported from Japan or Korea, companies know they can win this battle, ”Canfin says.
Read more: A transitional car that gets old in the hands of the buyer? Car manufacturers are rejecting hybrids
An interesting question is what the ongoing traffic revolution means for electric cars. According to an expert interviewed by HS since the beginning of the year, the time for now popular downloadable hybrids may be short.
For example, an analyst at market research firm EV-Volumes Viktor Irle called hybrids a transitional product.
“It’s expensive to maintain two systems. Owners of hybrids rarely drive on gasoline. They still have to take care of engine oils, for example. It’s just more of an effort, ”Irle told HS.