European parliament lawmakers have reportedly called for a faster reduction in emissions caused by car pollution to speed up the transition to electric vehicles in the EU.
In 2021, the European Commission had proposed to stop the production of new fossil fuel-powered cars by 2035 as part of its green deal to tackle climate change.
The European parliament’s environment committee has voted to support that target but added that carmakers need to meet the interim goal of reducing 20% of emissions by 2025 to accelerate the EV shift.
While the vote is not final, it is a key step in the upcoming negotiations between the ministers from the 27 EU member states and MEPs.
Currently, car manufacturers have to make sure that their new fleet of cars do not emit more than 95g of carbon dioxide per km, with the limit set at 147g CO2/km for vans.
The EU parliament has argued that carmakers need to make tougher short-term targets for reducing emissions and accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles, for which the lawmakers proposed interim targets for 2025 and 2030.
The commission has proposed a 55% reduction for cars and 50% for vans by 2030.
Transport is the only economic sector in the EU where emissions have been increasing, with the phasing out of fossil fuel-powered cars being seen as the key component to reducing pollution. Road transport not only creates toxic air pollution, but also makes up 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.
The automotive industry is also one of the biggest employers in the region, creating 14.6 million direct and indirect jobs, which is why EU governments are also observing proposals for tougher regulations closely.
To prevent economic hardships, MEPs have asked the EU executive to create a special fund to aid small and medium-sized firms that manufacture parts for internal combustion engine vehicles.
The UK has also vowed to end the production of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2030, but production of hybrid models is allowed until 2035.
However, green campaigners have demanded more ambitious targets to speed up the EV transition by the end of 2030.