03 Feb 2022, 13:46
Jessica Bateman Benjamin Wehrmann

German govt coalition wrangling over joint position on EU car emissions reduction plans

Handelsblatt / Tagesspiegel Background

The new German government has not yet agreed on a joint position for the EU’s car emissions reduction plans, business newspaper Handelsblatt reports. The Green Party’s minister for the environment, Steffi Lemke, is wrangling with transport minister Volker Wissing from the Free Democrats (FDP) over the question of how fast to reduce emissions from cars on the path to climate neutrality in new registrations by 2035. Lemke is pushing for more ambitious EU fleet-wide CO2 emission reduction targets and intermediate goals than the European Commission has proposed, reports the newspaper. However, bringing down emissions by getting more e-cars on to German streets hinges on the parallel expansion of charging infrastructure, a task that needs to be carried out by the transport ministry. Wissing’s ministry is still lacking staff and resources to fully focus on e-mobility, with almost as many people working on niche fuel cell products as there are working on e-cars, writes Handelsblatt. While the transport minister is not opposed to tighter reduction targets in general, he needs time to set up the right conditions for them to be implemented first, the article says. Wissing earlier this month said that the existing vehicle fleet in Germany cannot be made climate-neutral by switching to synthetic e-fuels.

The Bavarian conservative party branch CSU, meanwhile, has said it supports the continued development and use of combustion engines in combination with synthetic fuels, energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background reports. A “contrast programme” drawn up by the party to challenge the policies of the government states that “we want to maintain Germany's cutting-edge combustion engine technology with synthetic fuels” and proposes a multi-million euro fund to support this.

With its Fit for 55 package of energy and climate legislation, the European Commission has laid the groundwork to overhaul the EU's laws to put the bloc on path to reaching 2030 climate targets. CO₂ emission performance standards for cars and vans is one of the elements of the package and it will now be debated among member state governments in the EU Council, and in the European Parliament. Key lawmakers in the European Parliament have also proposed tougher and intermediate targets.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee