EMBARGOED TO 1200 THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1, 2007    File photo dated 02/02/2007 of car exhaust emissions in London.   The UK needs a "100 gram standard" to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new passenger cars, scientists said today.

EU approves ban on new combustion engine cars from 2035

The European Parliament and EU member countries have reached a deal to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035.

On Thursday night, EU negotiators sealed the first agreement of the bloc’s “Fit for 55” package set up by the Commission to achieve the EU’s climate goals of cutting emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55% over this decade.

The EU Parliament said the deal is a “clear signal ahead of the UN Cop27 Climate Change Conference that the EU is serious about adopting concrete laws to reach the more ambitious targets set out in the EU Climate Law.”

According to the bloc’s data, transport is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions have increased in the past three decades, rising 33.5% between 1990 and 2019.

Passenger cars are a major polluter, accounting for 61% of total CO2 emissions from EU road transport.

The EU wants to drastically reduce gas emission from transportation by 2050 and promote electric cars, but a report from the bloc’s external auditor showed last year that the region is lacking the appropriate charging stations.

Petrol nozzle
Officials say the move sets out a clear decarbonisation pathway (Nick Ansell/PA)

Pascal Canfin, the chair of the environment committee of the European Parliament, said: “This is a historic decision as it sets for the first time a clear decarbonisation pathway – with targets in 2025, 2030 and 2035 and aligned with our goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

“This sector, which accounts for 16% of European emissions at the moment, will be carbon neutral by 2050.”

World leaders agreed in Paris in 2015 to work to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and ideally no more than 1.5C (2.7 F) by the end of the century.

Scientists say even the less ambitious goal will be missed by a wide margin unless drastic steps are taken to reduce emissions.

Greenpeace said the 2035 deadline is too late to limit global warming to below 1.5C.

The green group’s transport campaigner Lorelei Limousin said: “The EU is taking the scenic route, and that route ends in disaster.

“A European 2035 phase-out of fossil fuel-burning cars is not quick enough: New cars with internal combustion engines should be banned by 2028 at the latest.

“The announcement is a perfect example of where politicians can bask in a feel-good headline that masks the reality of their repeated failures to act on climate.”

The EU Parliament and member states will now have to formally approve the agreement before it comes into force.


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