Back in July of 2021, the European Commission—the executive body of the European Union—adopted a slate of proposals designed to lower the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. Called the Fit for 55 package, it called for a 55-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and a 100-percent reduction by 2050. For vehicle users, perhaps the most standout proposal in the package was a requirement that 100-precent of all new cars and vans be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
It’s now June, 2022, and this part of the proposal just took the next step toward becoming reality as of June 8. That’s when members of the European Parliament (MEPs) met to discuss matters in Strasbourg, France. The body voted in support of an E.U. ban on the sales of all new gasoline and diesel cars throughout the 27-nation group, effective as of 2035. The measure passed with 339 votes for, 249 against, and 24 abstentions in total. MEPs also signed off on a requirement of a 55 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from automobiles by 2030, which is where the “Fit for 55” initiative gets its name.
Some lawmakers were eager to reduce the target to 90 percent reduction by 2035 rather than 100 percent, but those efforts were ultimately rejected. In emails seen by Reuters, some automotive industry groups seemed particularly keen on adoption of alternative fuels and the possibilities posed by hybrid vehicles. However, the MEPs’ votes in favor of the 2035 goal of 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035 lessens the likelihood of future such developments in the European market.
To be clear, this vote doesn’t make the measure law just yet. Now, E.U. MEPs must take the proposal up with all 27 of the E.U. member nations for final approval. In total, cars in the E.U. are responsible for approximately 12 percent of E.U. greenhouse gas emissions. While this isn’t the only proposal aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions across the region, it’s an important piece of the puzzle.
It’s also worth noting that when RideApart reached out to a European Commission Climate Action representative in 2021, we were told that two-wheelers “were not regulated specifically with regards to their CO2 emissions.” However, the representative went on, their emissions are instead governed by the EC’s Effort Sharing Regulation, which we’ll link in our Sources.
Now, the MEPs will discuss the matter with E.U. member state officials, a process which could take weeks or even months to move forward. We’ll be sure to keep you updated when a decision has been reached in the coming days.