Ecological transition - Europe is about to vote on the endothermic ban: this is what can happen

Starting tomorrow, Tuesday 7 June, the European automotive industry will set eyes and ears on Strasbourg: the European Parliament, in plenary session, meets to discuss and vote on the “Fit for 55”, the package of measures proposed by the Commission to combat climate change. This is an event of evident importance for the fate of four wheels, because among the various proposals is included the one that, in essence, will lead to a ban on the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines from 2035.

What and when to vote. In particular, there are two agendas to which particular attention must be paid. First of all, from 9 am to 1.50 pm there will be a discussion on various proposals, including the one on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and its alignment with the 55% reduction target. net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Then, from 2.30 pm to 10 pm, the debate on other initiatives will take place, including the proposal from the Environment Commission on new carbon dioxide emission standards for cars and vans. In essence, European legislators will discuss the famous ban on endothermic, given that the guidelines foresee a cut in CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 and by 100% by 2035 compared to the levels of 2021 and, consequently, establish the sale of zero-emission cars only. The vote, on the other hand, is scheduled for Wednesday 8 June, from 5 to 6 pm, and the outcome is not at all obvious as some might think.

Not a foregone conclusion. In this regard, it is enough to recall what has happened in recent weeks. At the end of April, the Transport Commission published a non-binding opinion voted with a large majority (27 in favor, 14 against and 7 abstentions), to request a change to the Fit for 55 that takes into account the mix of all the technological solutions useful for reducing emissions and does not exclude internal combustion engines a priori. A few days later came the contested vote of the Environment Commission: 46 votes in favor, 40 against and two abstentions. The initiative of the European People’s Party, the largest in the European Parliament, is also part of this framework to present, during the plenary, an amendment to ask for a “moratorium” on the regulations on climate and environment. “We need to give companies some room to breathe and avoid continuing to add new rules that are too burdensome for European industry,” explained the EPP coordinator of the parliamentary industry committee Christian Ehler. “We do not want to block the whole process, but to press the European Commission on something it has committed to do and has not done, that is to present a sector-by-sector analysis of the needs and impact of the energy transition, an analysis even more urgent today. that we are dealing with a scenario of energy prices and accessibility of raw materials that is not comparable to the one in which the Green Deal was conceived “. Therefore, within the European Parliament there is no shortage of voices opposed to a proposal that could put a large part of the European manufacturing industry at serious risk.

The requests. On the other hand, the associations representing manufacturers or suppliers have repeatedly asked in recent months for changes to be made in the name of technological neutrality. As stated by the Transport Commission, it is asked to consider all possible technological solutions, including biofuels and hydrogen, in order not to jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs linked to the production of combustion engines. In Europe, according to the association of suppliers Clepa, they would be at least 500 thousand jobs threatened by the transition. In Italy alone, according to the alarms launched recently by the Anfia, 73,000 positions would be at risk, not offset by the 6,000 generated by the new opportunities created by the transition to electric mobility. It is no coincidence that a very harsh warning has come from the supply chain: with the ban on endothermic there will be one catastrophe employment, social and economic. Also for this reason the president of the Anfia, Paolo Scudieri, addressed a appeal to the Italian MEPs: “They vote also thinking about the interests of their country, so that the government continues its collaboration with the representatives of the industrial chain in defining a roadmap for decarbonising mobility according to a realistic approach, open to more technologies and committed to supporting investments and the development of specialized skills in the area “.

The next steps. However, it will be necessary to wait a few hours to check whether the appeal has been accepted by the representatives of the Italians in Strasbourg. In any case, the vote of the European Parliament does not close the complex approval process of the “Fit for 55”. If not, the package will have to go back to the Brussels review. In this case, a rift will be confirmed between the two highest bodies of the EU institutional apparatus, but, given the current historical moment, any state of crisis that leads the Parliament to vote a motion of censure to ask for resignation is to be excluded. of the organ led by Ursula Von der Layen. If, on the other hand, Parliament approves the package, it will be up to the individual European countries to take a position: specific negotiations will be launched within the Council of the European Union, the last decision-making body in the EU legislative process, which is explicitly responsible for negotiating. and adopt the new community regulations.

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