24 Jun 2022, 13:24
Kerstine Appunn

Env min confident German government coalition will come together on combustion engine ban


Environment minister Steffi Lemke (Green Party) remains optimistic that Germany’s government cabinet will find a common line on the ban of internal combustion engine cars in the EU, despite recent announcements of by her party's coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), that they would oppose such a rule. Lemke told Deutschlandfunk radio that an agreement can still be reached, reiterating that while electric mobility is the more efficient, cheaper and cleaner option for passenger cars, e-fuels should be used in areas of transport, e.g. agricultural vehicles, aircraft, where there are no electric alternatives.

Germany's finance minister, Christian Lindner (FDP), said this week that Germany will not back EU plans effectively amounting to a ban on the sale of new combustion engine cars from 2035, arguing such a move would shut the door for “technology openness” and eradicate synthetic fuels as an alternative. This could mean that Germany is not going to agree to the proposed EU vehicle fleet emissions limits.

The government coalition of the FDP, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party had said in its coalition agreement that it will endorse the EU’s overall “Fit for 55” climate action plan, of which vehicle emissions are a part, but remained vague on the future use of synthetic fuels. While combustion engine technology should be phased out “step by step,” CO2-neutral cars “outside of the fleet emissions limit scheme” could be powered by e-fuels, for example ambulances or site vehicles, according to the agreement.

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