22 Mar 2021, 12:43
Sören Amelang

Environmental NGOs call on carmakers to phase out combustion engines by 2030

Clean Energy Wire

German environmental organisations have called on the country's carmakers to stop selling new vehicles with combustion engines in Europe by 2030 at the latest. Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), Germanwatch, Environmental Action Germany (DUH), Greenpeace, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Nabu), as well as clean mobility NGOs Transport & Environment and VCD, say in a joint letter addressed to the CEOs of Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW the carmakers should focus production on efficient electric vehicles. "The German automotive industry is in danger of being left behind, which would have dramatic consequences both ecologically and economically," the organisations write.

The organisations argue the phase-out should equally apply to hybrid vehicles. "The announced SUV models are an aberration in climate policy," according to the NGOs, which also reject synthetic fuels and fuels from biomass in road transport. They also call on the carmakers to support more ambitious EU emission limits for the year 2025.

The question of a combustion engine ban is a hotly debated topic in Germany and could become an important topic in this year's general elections. The Green Party also proposed a phase-out of combustion engine car sales by 2030 in its election manifesto last week. In contrast, transport minister Andreas Scheuer proposed to stop using fossil fuels in combustion engines by 2035, but run them with synthetic fuels instead. Scheuer also rejected tightening the EU's exhaust emission limits with the Euro 7 standard, which the European Commission wants to propose later this year. Germany's powerful car industry lobby group VDA also insists that combustion engines can be part of a clean mobility future if synthetic fuels are used. While Germany's carmakers are in the process of speeding up electrification plans, many jobs in the country's supplier industry depend on the combustion engine.

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