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This week, the European Parliament made Europe’s commitment to the carbon-neutral agenda official by voting to ban the sales of new ICE vehicles from 2035, with a goal to become carbon-neutral by 2050. This policy will not impact second-hand vehicles, which will still be legal to drive after 2035.

Specifically, the EU voted to prohibit the sales of any new ICE vehicles in the 27-nation block, which is expected to result in a 55 per cent reduction in CO2 from automobiles in 2030 (as compared to 2021). Although this is an increase from the 37.5 per cent CO2 reduction requirement that was set last year, most automakers have already announced plans to go all-electric over the next five to 10 years, so this policy may appear redundant in nature.

The conservative European People’s Party argued that the sale of hybrid cars should be allowed, while the Green Party asked to push the measure up to 2030; however, this was deemed as “too early of a timeline” to be feasible. Since cars and trucks account for almost a fifth of EU CO2 emissions (with 61 per cent attributed to passenger vehicles), this ruling marks an important step in the EU’s forward-facing climate policies. To effectively meet the benchmarks that have been set, the EU will need to also make drastic policy changes to other industries and energy sectors.

Final negotiations between the EU Parliament and Council still have to be conducted, which will “further define the positions of each of the 27 member states, in addition to factoring in special exemptions for small manufacturers.”

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