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EU Parliament votes to set 2035 deadline for ban on selling diesel and petrol cars

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European Parliament lawmakers have voted to set a 2035 deadline for an effective ban on selling petrol or diesel cars within the bloc.

MEPs voted to require carmakers to cut their average fleet emissions by 15pc in 2025, compared to 2021, by 55pc in 2030, and by 100pc in 2035.

The vote upholds a key pillar of the EU's plans to cut net planet-warming emissions 55pc by 2030, from 1990 levels - a target that requires faster emissions reductions from industry, energy and transport.

Conservatives, the far right and even some progressive MEPs rejected a higher 2030 goal or higher targets in the 2020s which would require manufacturers to ramp up sales of electric cars sooner.

Transport and Environment, a European clean transport group, said the move was “a significant step forward for climate action, air quality and the affordability of electric vehicles”.

Attempts by some lawmakers to weaken the target to a 90pc CO2 cut by 2035 were rejected. The law is not yet final as today’s vote just confirms the parliament's position for upcoming negotiations with EU countries on the final law.

Transport and Environment called on EU environment ministers to confirm the effective end date for sales of new combustion engines when they meet on June 28.

Environment ministers will decide their position on vehicle emissions targets later this month before entering into negotiations with the parliament. The final law is expected to be agreed in the autumn.

Cars are responsible for 12pc of transport emissions in Europe. The transport sector also consumes 65pc of oil in Europe, almost all of which is imported.

Alex Keynes, clean vehicles manager at Transport and Environment, said: “The deadline means the last fossil fuel cars will be sold by 2035, giving us a fighting chance of averting runaway climate change. Phasing out combustion engines is also a historic opportunity to help end our oil dependence and make us safer from despots. And it gives the certainty the car industry needs to ramp up production of electric vehicles, which will drive down prices for drivers.”

He added: “Environment ministers should double down on 2035 and leave no room for diversions into fake green solutions like e-fuels. Allowing synthetic fuels in cars would be an expensive and wasteful diversion from the mammoth task of cleaning up transport. Battery electric vehicles are ready today and are a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient way to decarbonise.”

With additional reporting from Reuters.

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