EU Parliament group votes down stricter 2030 car emissions goal

By BLOOMBERG | 13 May 2022

BRUSSELS: European Union lawmakers in the Parliament’s environment committee voted against an amendment that would have seen a sharper reduction of emissions in the automotive sector by the end of the decade.

Representatives narrowly failed to garner enough votes that would have raised the 2030 emissions-cutting target to 70% by 2030, from 55% originally proposed by the Commission last year.

An interim target for 2027 also didn’t pass. Other efforts to water down the legislation, such as requiring carmakers to reduce emissions by 90% by 2035, rather than 100% was rejected.

Still, the vote leaves the plan to effectively phase out the combustion engine by 2035 intact.

"I regret that we were not able to raise the ambition for the 2030 target,” said Pascal Canfin, chairman of the environment committee.

"But the direction of travel remains clear and supports the European Commission’s proposal to only allow the sale of zero-emission vehicles from 2035.”

Decarbonising transport is a one of the key pillars of the EU’s plans to reach climate neutrality by the middle of the century, given that it is one of the only sectors to see emissions increase in recent years.

The European Commission also wants to bring road transport into its carbon market, a key vote on which will take place next week in the environment committee.

The regulation on cars still needs to be voted on by Parliament as a whole, before negotiations with member states, which are expected later this year. France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, also put forward its compromise that stuck to the Commission’s 2035 target, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg.

The Committee did vote on an amendment to provide funding to help support small and medium-sized component manufacturers that are likely to be affected by the transition.

A push to get synthetic and e-fuels granted credit for cutting emissions didn’t pass.