ARCHIV - 23.11.2021, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart: Abgase kommen aus dem Auspuff eines Autos und werden in der kalten Morgenluft sichtbar. Im Kampf für mehr Klimaschutz will das EU-Parlament den Verkauf von Neuwagen mit Verbrennungsmotor ab 2035 verbieten. (zu dpa: "EU-Parlament für Verbot neuer Autos mit Verbrenner ab 2035") Foto: Marijan Murat//dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Before a crucial meeting of the EU environment ministers in Luxembourg, talks within the traffic light coalition about the planned phase-out of combustion engines from 2035 continued on Monday. According to a report in the “Handelsblatt”, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) now supports the course of the FDP, which is pushing for the date to be postponed against the will of the Ministry of the Environment and the Greens.

On Monday it was initially unclear how Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) would behave in the vote in Luxembourg. An abstention by Lemke, which would be taken as a no, could lead to the planned end of combustion engines from 2035 being overturned in the Council of EU Environment Ministers. Because Italy and four other countries have the necessary blocking minority to overturn the planned decision. The government in Rome, together with Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia, is working to postpone a complete ban on internal combustion engines until 2040.

If the federal government cannot reach agreement internally on certain issues, an abstention is envisaged at EU level. Everything else is considered politically sensitive: in 2017, the then Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt (CSU) caused an uproar when, against the will of the SPD coalition partner, he agreed to further approval of the controversial weed poison glyphosate.

In its “Fit for 55” climate package, which envisages a 55 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the EU by 2030, the EU Commission proposed switching all new cars to electric cars by 2035. The European Parliament has meanwhile also voted in favor of it. However, the member states must also agree.

In this situation, FDP leader Christian Lindner has advocated refueling standard cars with climate-friendly liquid fuels, so-called e-fuels, beyond 2035. In the current proposed regulation, this plays no role, Lindner had criticized. Meanwhile, Green Party leader Ricarda Lang insisted on Monday that a “very clear position” on the end of the combustion engine from 2035 had been agreed in the coalition agreement.

According to the report in the “Handelsblatt”, it was agreed last week on the fringes of the coalition committee to put pressure on Brussels again to give combustion engines at least one more chance with synthetically produced fuels from green energy.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) indicated a willingness to compromise on Monday after a meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg. Europe is a “living compromise machine,” he said. He hopes that “good solutions will be found that will do justice to climate protection,” said Habeck.

The Economics Minister also pointed out that the traffic light coalition agreement provides for the end of combustion engines by 2035. For many countries with a strong automotive industry, reducing carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2035 is “quite a challenging goal”. This also applies to Germany, Habeck said. However, the momentum in the automotive industry in Germany is now moving towards an end for combustion engines by 2035.