Lawmakers in the European Parliament and the European Council announced today that they have agreed to legislation requiring all new cars and vans registered in the EU to be zero-emission by 2035.

The 2035 target was initially proposed last year as part of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” roadmap, the EU initiative to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

The agreement marks a significant step towards the completion of the Fit for 55 negotiations, as it is the first major aspect of the strategy to reach a final deal.

With the agreement by the Parliament and Council, the proposal will now proceed for formal adoption.

Anna Hubáčková, Czech Minister of Environment, said:

“Closing a first deal on a proposal from the ‘Fit for 55’ package is a strong signal that the EU is determined to make progress towards climate neutrality and the green transition. Zero-emission mobility will be a building block for slowing down climate change that can create severe disruptions in many sectors of our society, including environment, migration, food security and the economy.”

In addition to the 2035 goal, the proposed legislation also includes interim targets requiring a 55% CO2 emission reduction for new cars and 50% for new vans by 2030, compared to 2021 levels.

The EU Parliament and Council also agreed to keep in place a regulatory mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEV) until 2030, rewarding manufacturers with less strict CO2 targets if they meet certain benchmarks for the sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles, but with the benchmarks increased to 25% for cars and 17% for vans.

Additional aspects of the new agreement included reducing the cap of emission credits that manufacturers can receive for eco-innovations that verifiably reduce CO2 emissions, plans for the Commission to develop a common EU methodology by 2025 for assessing the full life cycle of CO2 emissions of cars and vans, and ensuring that the Commission assesses the progress made towards the zero emission 2035 goal in 2026.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said:

“The agreement sends a strong signal to industry and consumers: Europe is embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility. European carmakers are already proving they are ready to step up to the plate, with increasing and increasingly affordable electric cars coming to the market. The speed at which this change has happened over the past few years is remarkable. It is no wonder that this file is the first one in the entire Fit for 55 package where Member States and the European Parliament have come to a final deal.”

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