The EU agrees to reduce emissions of new cars and vans by 35% in 2030

The EU agrees to reduce emissions of new cars and vans by 35% in 2030

The countries of the European Union (EU) set a 35% cut in CO2 emissions that they want to demand new cars and trucks from 2030, a level that raises the initial proposal of 30% of the European Commission (EC ) but limits the ambition of the 40% claimed by the European Parliament.

The agreement, which was reached after extensive negotiation by the environment ministers of the twenty-eight councils in Luxembourg, sets 2021 as the reference date for the reduction of CO2 from light vehicles.

It also includes a revision clause in 2024 on the levels required for 2030 and also the levels that will be requested for 2035 and 2045, depending on the technological development achieved.

That 35% in 2030 - to which is also added an intermediate path of 15% reduction in polluting emissions by 2025 - is the average term defended by Spain and places the effort claimed by the industry among the most conservative positions, led by Germany , and the most ambitious, captained by France.

Much of the negotiation between capitals was to achieve a consensus between the Paris-Berlin axis, heavyweights of the European automotive industry and traditionally allies but divided before legislation that seems key to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 .

Despite signing the final commitment, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Slovenia and Denmark said they would make a joint statement to criticize the lack of ambition of the common position of the countries.

Next, the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament will have to negotiate three bands in the so-called "trilogues" as of this Wednesday the final percentage of emission reductions that will be requested to the automobile manufacturers, with the perspective of closing an agreement that becomes mandatory in 2019.

The long ministerial debate in a council that in total lasted almost 14 hours, came a day after the results of the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, for its acronym in English).

This study, very present in the interventions of the EU ministers, highlights the importance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees centigrade at the end of the century, a very urgent task that requires "unprecedented changes" at the social and global to avoid further extinction of species or reduce the rise in sea level.

The Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, defended that final 35% in the debate with their counterparts provided that after the final negotiation in the "trílogos" the effort is "more between 35 and 40% than between 30 and 35%. "

"The agreement to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles is an opportunity for the Spanish automobile industry," he told reporters after the Ribera agreement, which considered that the transformation of a sector that represents almost 12% of GDP in Spain It is "an opportunity for innovation and competitiveness" of the automotive industry.

Countries with more conservative theses, such as Hungary, the Czech Republic or Latvia, argued that too high an objective would endanger the industry, while the more progressive ones, such as Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Belgium, considered Europe to be in the lead in the transition from the combustion engine to electric and hybrid vehicles.

The objective of the Community institutions is for the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament to conclude a definitive pact before the end of the legislature with the dissolution of the European Parliament with a view to the elections next May.

"The most important thing today is to reach an agreement," the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, who at the end of the debate said that the EC is "has declared at the beginning of the Council of EU Ministers." satisfied "with the result.


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