European lawmakers have voted to ban the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans in the EU from 2035, representing a significant shot in the arm to the region’s ambitious green goals.
On Wednesday, 339 MEPs in the European Parliament voted in favor of the plans, which had been proposed by the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch.
There were 249 votes against the proposal, while 24 MEPs abstained. It takes the European Union a step closer to its goal of cutting emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 100 percent in 2035, compared to 2021.
By 2030, the target is an emissions’ reduction of 50 percent for vans and 55 percent for cars. The Commission has previously said passenger cars and vans account for roughly 12 percent and 2.5 percent of the EU’s total CO2 emissions.
MEPs will now undertake negotiations about the plans with the bloc’s 27 member states. The U.K., meanwhile, wants to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030.
It will require, from 2035, all new cars and vans to have zero tailpipe emissions. The U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, 2020.
Dutch MEP, Jan Huitema, who is part of the Renew Europe Group, welcomed the result of Wednesday’s vote. “I am thrilled that the European Parliament has backed an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100 percent target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050,” he said.
Others commenting on the news included Alex Keynes, clean vehicles manager at Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment. “The deadline means the last fossil fuel cars will be sold by 2035, giving us a fighting chance of averting runaway climate change,” Keynes said.