A final vote by the European Union on legislation to ban the sale of new cars and vans that emit CO2 emissions by 2035—i.e. any vehicle still equipped with an internal-combustion engine—has been delayed.
The vote by the European Council, the body composed of the heads of state or governments of the EU member states, was due to take place on Tuesday, but was delayed amid concerns Germany could abstain, which could end up derailing the process.
A new date has yet to be announced.
Despite having previously backed the legislation, part of Germany’s current coalition government in the last week voiced concerns the legislation doesn’t make sufficient guarantees that cars equipped with engines designed to run on carbon-neutral e-fuels, like what Aramco, Formula 1, and Porsche are developing, would be allowed for sale beyond the 2035 cutoff. Germany would have automatically abstained in the vote if its coalition government wasn’t in agreement.
Following a meeting between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and E.U. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday, the former said talks about resolving the dispute were constructive, Bloomberg reported.
German Transport Minister Volker Wissing on Monday also said he was optimistic the dispute could be solved, according to Bloomberg’s report.
However, ministers from other major car-producing countries in the E.U., such as Italy and France, have also expressed concerns about exclusively adopting electric vehicles as the solution to achieving zero-carbon emissions.
The planned legislation calls for 55% less CO2 emissions from new passenger cars by 2030 versus 2021 levels as an interim goal, and eventually the 100% reduction by 2035. For vans, it will be a 50% reduction by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
The legislation is part of the EU’s overarching plan to become climate neutral by 2050.
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