PRAGUE/BRUSSELS — The transport ministers of the Czech Republic, GermanyItaly, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia discussed on Monday their willingness to change the vehicle proposed by the European Union emissions boundaries.
The proposed Euro 7 law, which EU countries and lawmakers will begin negotiating this year, would tighten limits on health-damaging pollutants, including nitrogen oxides. The EU said the health benefits would far outweigh the costs.
But countries, including the Czech Republic, oppose the proposed rules which they say are burdensome for the industry. Most have large auto manufacturing sectors.
An EU official said ministers discussed the law’s “unrealistic” timelines and problems with the equipment to enforce it.
“Our effort is, in the area of Euro 7, to make these conditions really realistic, to make them achievable,” said Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka in a telephone interview after the Strasbourg meeting, which he called.
The Czech Republic said countries had reservations about the short adoption period of the standard, which according to the proposals is due to come into force in mid-2025 for cars.
He proposed a four-year period for the entry into force of the standard, along with some technical amendments, to give industry time to prepare and strengthen technological measures.
“If we really want to try to take Europe towards greater carbon neutrality, I think that really means introducing technologically realistic measures,” Kupka said.
And then there is the ban on internal combustion
Countries also discussed a separate line on the bloc’s 2035 deadline to phase out CO2-emitting cars, which would effectively make it impossible to sell new ones. combustion motor cars after 2035.
The CO2 law, the EU’s main tool for accelerating Europe’s transition to electric vehicleswas suspended this month after last-minute opposition from Germany. This surprised policymakers in Brussels and other member states, since EU countries and the European Parliament had already reached agreement on the law last year.
Germanysupported by countries like Italy and the Czech Republic, wants clearer assurances than new cars with internal combustion engines can still be sold after 2035, if they run on CO2-neutral fuels.
Other countries have different reservations. Poland, for example, said its opposition was “much more fundamental” than the types of fuels that can be used after 2035, and said the proposal would make combustion more expensive engines for consumers.
The EU says the 2035 date is crucial because the average lifespan of new cars is 15 years – so a later ban would prevent the EU from reaching net zero emissions by 2050, scientists say this milestone world would avoid a catastrophe climate change. Transport accounts for around a quarter of EU emissions.
Parts of the European car industry are also pushing to weaken European legislation. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said on Monday he believes Berlin is “taking appropriate steps” to ensure electric fuels can be used in new combustion motor cars after 2035.