EU lawmakers sustain ban on new internal combustion engine cars by 2035

Jessica Thompson

European Union lawmakers voted to uphold a ban on new combustion engine cars from 2035, holding off a challenge that would have put the bloc’s climate goals at risk.

Members of Parliament voted against an amendment that would have eased a requirement on carmakers to cut emissions, to a 90 percent reduction by 2035, instead of the 100 percent the Commission proposed last year. The result sets out the position for negotiations with member states later this year that will determine the final shape of the law.

If an agreement is reached then, it effectively spells the end of the combustion engine car in Europe, marking a radical overhaul of a form of transport that has dominated for more than a century. It would also be a crucial win for the bloc’s climate agenda, with the transportation sector proving one of the hardest to decarbonize.

Lawmakers from the conservative European People’s Party — as well as other right-leaning groups — had attempted to tone down the ambition on cutting cars’ carbon emissions, highlighting concerns over potential job losses in the industry.

Lawmakers also voted against an amendment that would allow carmakers to buy credits for so-called e-fuels. Those synthetic fuels, made using captured carbon dioxide, with hydrogen produced from renewables, have been touted as a way to keep the combustion engine.

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