EU wants to ban combustion vehicles: Opponents fear “Havana effect”

Climate protection plans: EU wants to ban combustion vehicles – opponents fear “Havana effect”

The Brussels climate package is causing a stir among politicians, business, lobbyists, consumers and drivers. On the way home, the warnings for high loads increase.

The Lower Saxony CDU member Jens Gieseke and his staff spent the Whitsun weekend completely different this year: checking e-mails. Gieseke says his office is “full to capacity”. The reason for the postal flood: From 2035, Brussels wants to ban new cars with internal combustion engines in the category of passenger cars and small commercial vehicles.

Stakeholders unleash “tsunami of lobbying”

In some places, this made the people’s souls boil and brought a large number of interest groups to action in Brussels. Liberal French MP Pascal Canfin, chairman of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, saw a “tsunami of lobbying” sweep over himself and his colleagues. Gieseke confirms: “The activities are extreme – from all sides. Of course there is massive lobbying, but not just from the usual suspects. Governments are also out and influencing their MPs.”

Like his Christian Democrats and parts of the Liberals in parliament, Gieseke thinks it is wrong to ban internal combustion engines altogether. There must also be a chance for the new, less polluting synthetic fuels, not just for battery-powered electric cars.

Warning for “Havana effect” with armada of rust buckets

The CDU MP does not want to make any predictions about future market prices for modern “e-fuels”, but predicts: “In relation to e-mobility, it will be possible to produce competitively.” Gieseke’s opponent in the European SPD, the Member of Parliament Tiemo Wölken, gives a brave estimate: These fuels are “very expensive and do not make climate policy sense. In terms of price, they would end up on the market at about the same level as fuel prices are now, and they would probably be even more expensive. “

The cloud is important to emphasize: “The plans do not mean that existing vehicles must be shut down.” So no one should have their conventional car removed. As the average lifespan of a car is 15 years, by 2050 there may be predominantly zero emissions of domestic passenger cars on the roads of the EU. Theoretically. In practice, however, what Gieseke calls the “Havana effect” of “forced electrification” can occur: As in Cuba, where decades-old American road cruisers are still tough today, enthusiasts could nurture and care for their old internal combustion engines to separate from them so late. as possible.

“Fit for 55”: the most comprehensive EU environmental rules of all time

The end of the internal combustion engine is part of the European Commission’s comprehensive climate package, which is currently the subject of heated debate in the European Parliament and will be voted on in the middle of the week. After that, the national governments must also take a final position on this. Details of the “Green Deal” by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, which is intended to lead to a climate-neutral EU by 2050, are recorded on several thousand pages. Important stage: greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. That is why the legislative package is called “Fit for 55”.

The amount of individual action in the EU’s most comprehensive environmental legislation of all time goes far beyond the ban on internal combustion engines and is confusing to non-experts. The debate about this is partly lost in expert Chinese. In an appeal from researchers to MPs to avert the ban on internal combustion engines, it says: The electric cars’ climate balance sheet is adorned. Because “only the standard electric mix is ​​used as a calculation basis”. Correctly

but would be “to take into account the fossil marginal current in the charging current”. The Social Democrat Wölken’s argument, according to which the train (or e-car) has already gone anyway, is more understandable to lay people: “The vast majority of car manufacturers have long been on the e-mobility course.”

Green slogan: “Isolate home – isolate Putin”

In addition to road traffic, the plans also include optimizing the energy balance in buildings. Green Irish MP Ciaran Cuffe has the catchy slogan clear: “If we isolate our houses, we will also isolate Putin.” gas and oil are dependent on.

State administrations should proceed with the renovation of public properties. In a later step, residential buildings will also be affected. CDU member Christian Ehler points out that, for example, a heat pump today costs up to 12,000 euros.

Price shock from indulgences with carbon dioxide from 2024?

In connection with the discussion on a reform of the EU’s Emissions Trading System, CDU member Peter Liese warns of a “price shock 2024”. The European Parliament’s Environment Committee sat on the Commission’s ideas.

Together with his colleagues from the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP) and liberal allies, Liese wants to abolish this last-minute success. If this does not succeed, he hopes that the Heads of State and Government of the European Council will consider certain issues “much more realistically” than some MEPs. Disputes are also to be expected about a new climate tariff for imports from third countries, which will prevent competitive disadvantages for the EU economy through stricter requirements.

Social compensation fund planned for the needy

As new climate protection burdens are imminent not only for industry but also for consumers, even if energy prices are already galloping, a social compensation fund is planned. It is to be fed from revenues from emissions trading. The amount of funds that EU countries can withdraw from it is calculated, among other things, on the national average income and the number of citizens who may be needed. At least EUR 70 billion is planned for 2025 to 2032.

Katrin Langensiepen, German member of the Green Group in the European Parliament, sees the project as a milestone in the fight against so-called “energy poverty”, a problem that is already flourishing: “For the first time, we provide a definition of mobility and energy poverty in the Social Climate Fund. risk households “we mean those who are already affected and those who are at risk of falling into poverty – ie the lowest income groups, families, single parents, people in rural areas. Most of the money (17.6 percent) is expected to go to Poland, Germany around 8.2 percent.

Green false marking, probably also in Brussels

The European Commission acknowledges: “There is a risk that socially disadvantaged households, micro-enterprises and road users will be exposed to more pressure in the short term due to climate strategies.” Klaus-Heiner Lehne, in an interview with the weekly “Die Zeit”: “If a company were to count as the European Commission, it would probably be called greenwashing.” Given the climate protection requirements of the coming years, it is important for his authority to “Say early on that the Commission needs more clearly defined criteria quickly. By 2027, it wants to invest 30% of the EU budget in climate protection.”

“Greenwashing”, green false labeling, is also the key word in another climate conflict. Following political pressure from various quarters, the Commission decided to give investment in nuclear power and natural gas infrastructure a conditional climate-friendly stamp of approval. This is intended to send signals to the financial market. But there, according to the responsible expert at the German Banking Association, Torsten Jäger, the echo is meager: “At the moment, we see clear reservations among product suppliers about classifying gas and nuclear energy as sustainable.”

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