New Delhi: In a fight against climate change the European Parliament has voted to ban selling new cars with combustion engines by 2035.
The lawmakers voted on Wednesday to require automakers to cut carbon dioxide by 100 percent by the middle of the next decade.
The decision would have amounted to a prohibition on the sale in the 27-nation bloc of new cars powered by gasoline or diesel.
EU lawmakers also endorsed a 55 percent reduction in CO₂ from vehicles in 2030 compared with 2021. The move strengthens an existing obligation on the car industry to lower CO₂ discharges by 37.5 percent on average at the end of the decade compared to last year.
In a recent report, the US scientists warned that the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere in May was 50 percent higher than during the pre-industrial era.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed the threshold of 420 parts per million (ppm), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.
“Purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers,” said Jan Huitema, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the policy.
Environmentalists hailed the parliament’s decisions. Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based alliance, said the vote offered “a fighting chance of averting runaway climate change”.
But Germany’s auto industry lobby group VDA criticized the vote, saying it ignored the lack of charging infrastructure in Europe.
If approved by EU nations, the 2035 deadline will be particularly tough on German automakers, who have focused on powerful and expensive vehicles with combustion engines while falling behind foreign rivals when it comes to electric cars.
The 2030 CO₂-reduction target and ban on combustion engines in 2035 were proposed last year by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.
Cars account for around 12 percent of European emissions of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for increasingly frequent and intense heat waves, storms and floods tied to climate change.
Electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles made up 18 percent of new passenger cars sold in the EU last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.