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Dispute over combustion engines: “Calls to break the law”

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With the latest proposals by Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP), the Greens are taking a sharp stance in the dispute over the end of combustion engines for new vehicles from 2035. Wissing’s proposals contained “calls to break the law,” MEP Michael Bloss (Greens) told the Tagesspiegel.

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Wissing’s ministerial office had previously sent a letter to the head of the cabinet of EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who is responsible for the planned end of combustion engines in the coming decade. Wissing is demanding a proposal from the EU Commission on how synthetic fuels, so-called e-fuels, can also be used in combustion engines after 2035. In the letter, which is available to the Tagesspiegel, Wissing proposes a so-called delegated legal act for the controversial e-fuels.

After Wissing’s intervention in favor of combustion engines, the legislative process in Brussels, which was actually in the final stages, had to be stopped. In the letter to Brussels, the Liberal now proposes that the EU Commission should decouple the issue of controversial e-fuels from the rest of the legislation on climate targets for cars and light commercial vehicles.

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According to the Minister of Transport, the required delegated legal act could then “allow e-fuels only vehicles to be counted towards the fleet target values”.

Delegated legal acts of the Commission can only be overturned with difficulty by the member states and the European Parliament. The Green MEP Bloss pointed out that the right to initiate laws in Europe lies exclusively with the EU Commission, but not “with coalition partners within the member states”.

You have to do Europe right.

Peter LieseCDU MEP

“Protecting and respecting European democracy is more important than the desire of a small German party to raise its profile,” continued Bloss. According to him, the European principles must be respected, otherwise the EU will become ungovernable. “We need an effective Union and not coercion in the legislative process,” he demanded.

Bloss is not the only MEP to criticize the requests for improvement suddenly formulated by the FDP. The CDU parliamentarian Peter Liese pointed out via Twitter that Wissing had supported the agreement at EU level last June and October, although the ban on combustion engines was included. “You have to do Europe right,” said Liese.

After the intervention of the FDP, several states at EU level have distanced themselves from a decision by the European Parliament that envisages the end of combustion engines from 2035. Last Monday, the Czech government invited several EU countries to a meeting in Strasbourg, at which they called for the longer-term operation of vehicles with synthetic, climate-neutral fuels. In addition to several Eastern European countries, representatives of Germany and Italy also took part in the meeting.

The countries around Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy have enough weight in the EU to block the actually planned decision to reduce CO2 emissions from cars. Wissing then said that the EU had to give an answer as to how climate-neutral cars could continue to be operated in a technology-neutral manner.

In Germany, meanwhile, a majority of the population is opposed to the end of combustion engines from 2035. According to the current Germany trend for the ARD “Morgenmagazin”, 67 percent of those surveyed reject an end to combustion engines in twelve years. Only 25 percent are in favor of it.

Accordingly, the approval is greatest among younger voters under the age of 34 – there it was 33 percent. Only among supporters of the Greens does the EU plan meet with majority approval (69 percent). Voters from the other parties represented in the Bundestag strongly disapprove of the move.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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