Race towards zero-emissions: new landmark EU law approved

Countries in the European Union have approved a new law that will ensure all new cars sold from 2035 will have zero emissions.

Despite the agreement for the law being delayed for a few weeks after Germany called for an exemption for cars that run on electrofuels (e-fuels), carbon-based fuels produced from CO2 and water with electricity as the primary source of energy, it was announced yesterday that all new cars sold within Europe are to be emission-free by 2035.

gray coupe

Poland outright voted against the law, while Italy, Bulgaria and Romania abstained.

The exemption that was won by Germany will help individuals with traditional vehicles, even though e-fuels are not yet produced on a large scale. The EU is also expected to provide an update later this year on how e-fuel-only cars can continue this year.

The news has been mostly welcomed with open arms as according to the European Commission, passenger cars and vans are responsible for an estimated 12% and 2.5% of total EU emissions of CO2, implying that switching to sustainable cars will have major positive impacts on the environment.

Earlier this month, the UN warned that the world was likely to miss a target for limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C, however, the new EU law is estimated to lower CO2 emissions by 555 from 2030, compared to 2021 levels.

German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said the agreement that was set yesterday would ‘open up important options for the population towards climate-neutral and affordable mobility’.

Additionally, EU Climate Policy Chief Frans Timmermans added: ‘The direction of travel is clear: in 2035, new cars and vans must have zero emissions.’

Image: Xavier Gonzalez


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