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EU approves plan requiring new cars to have zero emissions from 2035

March 29, 2023


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

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

The agreement was delayed for weeks after Germany called for an exemption for cars running on e-fuels.

E-fuels are argued to be carbon neutral because they use captured CO2 emissions to balance out the CO2 released when the fuel is combusted in an engine.

The new law had been expected to make it impossible to sell internal combustion engine cars in the EU from 2035.

However, the exemption won by Germany will now help those with traditional vehicles - even though e-fuels are not yet produced at scale.

The EU will say how sales of e-fuel-only cars can continue later this year.

Passenger cars and vans are responsible for about 12% and 2.5% respectively of total EU emissions of CO2, the main greenhouse gas, according to the European Commission.

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.

[Rachel Russell]

More: New cars sold in EU must be zero-emission from 2035

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