Despite the concerns of Finance Minister Christian Lindner, Environment Minister Steffi Lemke wants to approve the planned phase-out 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. Combustors that have already been approved would not be affected by the ban.
“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.
Lindner’s reaction followed immediately. The FDP politician wrote on Twitter: “The statements made by the Environment Minister on the
According to information from observers, Lemke will support the proposals of the EU Commission at the ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, according to which from 2035 only vehicles that emit no CO2 may be registered. According to the information, Germany will make a protocol statement at the ministerial meeting, according to which vehicles with e-fuels can be used outside the system of fleet limits.
According to the information, the protocol declaration would have no effect on the implementation of EU legislation, which provides for the end of combustion engines from 2035. Theoretically, it would be possible that certain producers – such as the sports car manufacturer Porsche – could then also use e-fuels after 2035. But there would be no EU subsidies for this. The FDP had previously called for the use of e-fuels beyond 2035.
The Green MEP Michael Bloss told the Tagesspiegel that in the end it was clear to everyone involved “that the future of the automotive industry lies in electromobility”. He said about a possible compromise in Luxembourg. “This is a good day for Europe as an automotive location and for every employee in this industry.” In his words, anyone who still relies on e-fuels or hydrogen in car tanks is “investing beyond the market”.
Meanwhile, the FDP said on Tuesday morning that the text currently available from the Council of Environment Ministers in Luxembourg had not yet been approved. The federal government thus continued to struggle for a coordinated position 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.
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.
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.