Despite the concerns of Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), Environment Minister Steffi Lemke wants to agree to the planned end of combustion cars in the EU Environment Committee on Tuesday. “It is important to me that the federal government will support the Commission here in Luxembourg today with the goal that from 2035 no more cars will be registered that emit CO2,” said the Greens politician in the ZDF morning show.
“That is the line that the federal government has represented here in the last few weeks and months, which is also laid down in the coalition agreement,” said Lemke. However, it will make it clear that there are areas, for example in fire-fighting vehicles, where there are still no alternative fuels.
On Monday there was still no agreed position in the federal government on the end of combustion engines. Finance Minister Lindner had threatened last week with a blockade within the federal government, in which case Germany would have to abstain from a possible ban on internal combustion engines at European level.
An abstention by Lemke, which would be taken as a no, could have led to the EU environment ministers overturning the planned ban on the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035. Combustors that have already been approved would not be affected by the ban.
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 a report in the “Handelsblatt”, it was agreed on the sidelines of the coalition committee last week 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.