Environmental News from Europe:
- EU countries reach deals on the package of green policies
- Countries agree to support the 2035 fossil fuel car ban
- Compromise on funds to shield citizens from CO2 costs
- EU countries and Parliament will now negotiate final laws
EU countries clinched deals on proposed laws to combat climate change early Wednesday, backing a 2035 phase-out of new fossil fuel car sales and a multi-billion-euro fund to shield poorer citizens from CO2 costs.
After more than 16 hours of negotiations, environment ministers from the European Union’s 27 member states agreed to their joint positions on five laws, part of a broader package of measures to slash planet-warming emissions this decade.
“The climate crisis and its consequences are clear, and so the policy is unavoidable,” EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said, adding that he thought the invasion of Ukraine by top gas supplier Russia was spurring countries to quit fossil fuels faster.
Ministers supported core parts of the package that the European Commission first proposed last summer, including a law requiring new cars sold in the EU to emit zero CO2 from 2035. That would make it impossible to sell internal combustion engine cars.
The deal makes it likely that the proposal will become EU law. The ministers’ agreements will form their position in upcoming negotiations with the EU Parliament on the final laws. Parliament has already backed the 2035 car target.
Italy, Slovakia, and other states had wanted the phase-out delayed to 2040. Countries eventually backed a compromise proposed by Germany, the EU’s biggest car market, which kept the 2035 target and asked Brussels to assess in 2026 whether hybrid vehicles or CO2-neutral fuels could comply with the goal.
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