The European institutions have agreed on Monday to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of new cars by 37.5% in 2030. The agreement, reached between the Parliament and the European Council, also sets the limit for vans, which will be of 31% for the same year in relation to the levels registered in 2021. That commitment goes beyond what the member countries agreed last October, although it falls below what the European Parliament had demanded.
According to community sources, an intermediate step will be taken to reach that agreement. In 2025, producers of vehicles that have already reduced the emissions of new cars by 15% will be required to then jump and reach the final 37.5%. The agreement must now be formally approved by the Parliament and the European Council and will come into force "immediately" when it is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. This agreement is part of the clean mobility package and is key for the EU to meet the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.
"With this legislation, we are establishing the objectives and corrective incentives to address emissions from the transport sector," said the Commissioner for Action for Climate and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, who added that it will "help" European industry to "embrace innovation towards zero emissions mobility" and allow it to lead the production of clean vehicles. The European federation of environmental NGOs Transport & Environment welcomed the agreement "with satisfaction" but warned that "it is far below what is needed to achieve the EU's climate targets by 2030." The consumer organization BEUC considered the pact as "an important milestone" in pushing producers towards the clean industry.
The European Parliament set very ambitious targets in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in both cars and vans by 2030. Specifically, it established that these should be 40% lower than those registered in 2021. However, the past October that goal met with the blockade of Germany and Eastern European countries.
Reticence of Germany and Eastern Europe
In no case, these countries wanted to exceed the 30% threshold. Berlin was opposed above all by the pressure of the automobile industry. In the case of the Eastern countries, to this argument they added the destruction of jobs and the danger that their inhabitants, with lower per capita income, could not afford those vehicles and had to end up buying the second ones that were left behind. use in other countries.
Opposite they came across a group of countries that wanted to go even further. Sweden, for example, proposed raising the bar to 50%. Together with Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia, they signed a declaration in which they stood out from that decision. These countries not only used environmental reasons, but also economic ones. In his view, Europe was giving away the whole electric car industry to Asian countries by not forcing the car industry to invest in the electric car.
Finally, the countries decided to place the threshold at 35% by 2030 in the case of cars and leave it at 30% for vans. That bar caused disappointment, especially among environmental organizations, who hoped that the countries with more ambition would succeed in pushing the rest. However, these ended up yielding to reach an agreement that could be ready before the European elections next May.
The position of Spain
Spain then supported the proposal of Austria – which holds the rotating presidency of the EU-. This proposed a 35% reduction to disengage the agreement. And it was the figure finally adopted. However, Spain, which is the continent's second largest automobile producer, said it expected the figure to be between 35% and 40% in the final negotiation.
Finally, that's how it has been. The European Parliament, which tends to be more ambitious in its approach, has managed to raise the final reduction of emissions in the case of cars from 35% to 37.5%. It has not achieved such a remarkable increase in the vans, which was the main concern for Eastern countries -Bulgaria did not want to exceed 25% during the negotiation-. Finally, the European Parliament has had to settle for accepting a reduction in emissions of 31% for these vehicles.