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It looks like the European Union is no closer to getting its members to agree on the plan for cutting CO2 emissions from vehicles, with Italy joining Germany in disagreeing with the plan to phase-out combustion engine cars by 2035.
Germany earlier expressed its adamant—and last minute--disapproval of the plan to phase out ICE vehicles by 2035, and now Italy has said it would support the plan to phase out ICE vehicles if the European Commission allows the sale of cars running on carbon-neutral biofuels to continue after 2035.
Without Germany and Italy behind the phase-out, the plan cannot go forward.
"Italy would not accept an unduly restricted interpretation by the Commission of 'CO2 neutral fuels', that includes only e-fuels and not biofuels," three Italian ministers in a letter sent on Tuesday seen by Reuters.
The Commission is hoping to come to some agreement in the matter before an EU leader summit that will take place on Thursday. To ensure the plans success, the Commission has come up with a draft proposal that will allow carmakers to register new cars after 2035 if they run on carbon-neutral fuels—and only on carbon-neutral fuels. Reuters pointed out that the exact verbiage of the text was "carbon neutral fuels", and not "biofuels".
Italy said it had not received any response to its letter.
In February, the European Parliament voted in favor of the phaseout of internal combustion engine cars in the European Union from 2035, but the vote was narrow, with 340 out of 640 MEPs in favor.
While Italy and Germany are holding out for a better deal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Green, Slovenia, and others have plans to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars even earlier—sometime between 2025 and 2030.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.