Success or failure, how should the round of voting in the European Parliament on Wednesday on key points of the EU climate package “Fit for 55” be evaluated? From a climate policy point of view, at least, it was not a failure.
According to MEPs, it could become significantly more expensive for European airlines to emit greenhouse gases. The tightening of emissions trading for industry, buildings and road traffic, which is actually generally accepted, was postponed for the time being – but only because the conservative EPP attacked part of the compromise from the environment committee together with extreme right-wing factions.
E-mobility, transport policy and future mobility: the briefing on transport and smart mobility. For decision makers
The Social Democrats and Greens then rejected the whole package. Now renegotiations are to take place, and in the future the EPP will have to move.
The end of combustion engines has already been accepted – a topic that, like air traffic, has a lot of symbolic power. The road to this decision also puts the spotlight on aggressive industry lobbying. In the transport industry in particular, there is often a large gap between the climate commitments of business representatives and the influence they exert outside of public attention.
Although the major carmakers have largely publicly committed themselves to electromobility in Europe, MEPs have complained about a flood of emails and further contact attempts by industry representatives in recent weeks, urging them to reject the end of combustion engines.
However, there are also arguments that proved the combustion engine friends right. One can certainly question whether the massive expansion of the charging infrastructure for electromobility will succeed as planned.
The conclusion is that all technological paths must therefore be kept open. However, coexisting infrastructures and drive types is likely to increase the costs for all paths. The more expensive the turnaround in traffic, the less likely it becomes.
The industry now wants to enforce a revision of the decision for 2028, by then consumers and companies could have created facts. Because the question that everyone has to answer for themselves is still the same for the time being: Is it still reasonable to produce exhaust gases when driving?
Car traffic is responsible for around 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. The manufacturers are proud of their current and announced e-models. The trend away from fuel combustion is clear. In 15 years, roaring through inner cities with a combustion engine should be about as cool as smoking cigarettes indoors today.