MEPs welcomed the landmark move by the EU today to end internal combustion engine car sales, saying that it must come with an unprecedented level of investment in alternative and public transport. “Today we set out a new vision for our towns and rural areas. A Europe built for people, not for traffic,” MEP Grace O’Sullivan said in European Parliament debate in Strasbourg today.
The European Parliament this Tuesday voted to phase out the sale of any new international combustion engine cars by 2035 in a landmark European Green Deal decision as well as committing to reduce overall car emissions by 55% by 2030.
The EU’s current targets for reducing internal combustion engine car sales have already made the continent the largest market for the cars, and these targets have been made more ambitious with the vote today.
Speaking following the vote in the European Parliament today, MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan said: “About 18% of Ireland’s total emissions come from road transport so this is a crucial sector to support in the transition to a more sustainable future. It’s also one of the only areas where we already hold all of the keys to solve the issue at hand – strong investment in public transport, pedestrian friendly towns and affordable electric vehicles. Rural Ireland in particular should be supported as a priority.”
This legislation marks a step forward in terms of climate ambition and includes a bonus for car manufacturers who improve their electric vehicle output. The measure faced strong lobbying from the car and fossil fuel industries. The vote on “CO2 emission standards for cars and vans” passed in the European Parliament today by 340 votes in favour to 279 against.
Grace O’Sullivan MEP added: “The current cost of living crisis has seen fossil fuel companies make the biggest profits in history on the backs of working families. We need to move towards energy independence in Ireland, including cutting our dependence on foreign oil, gas, petrol and diesel.”