EU countries reach deal on climate laws after late-night talks

0
71

Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

EU countries clinched deals on proposed laws to combat climate change early on Wednesday, backing a 2035 phase-out of new fossil fuel car sales and a multibillion-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 their joint positions on five laws, part of a broader package of measures to slash planet-warming emissions this decade.


READ MORE

Dozens missing after strike on Ukraine mall, Russia presses attacks on east

Two Mexicans charged after death of 51 migrants in sweltering Texas truck


“The climate crisis and its consequences are clear, and so 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.

EU-Gas-Russia-Timmermans-750
Frans Timmermans speaks during a joint press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels. AFP

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.

Timmermans said that the commission would keep an “open mind” but that today, hybrids did not deliver sufficient emissions cuts and alternative fuels were prohibitively expensive.

The climate proposals aim to ensure the 27-country EU – the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter — reaches its 2030 target of reducing net emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.

Reuters

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here