On a High Note: EU Passes Landmark Package of Climate Protections

EU Passes Landmark Package of Climate Protections

On Wednesday, the European Parliament passed a landmark bill that’ll end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 and made a new commitment to cut CO2 emissions from vehicles by 55% by 2030 compared with 2021 levels. They also rejected a "watered-down” bill to regulate the sale of CO2 emissions permits because, as the world’s third-largest polluter, it wasn’t ambitious enough to prevent 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. These laws are part of a package of eight new climate protection bills, coined "Fit for 55,” and designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% of 1990 levels by 2030 to keep the EU on track for net zero in 2050.

With cars being the second-largest source of pollution in Europe and emissions from the transportation sector increasing by 33% since 1990, the new commitments will make a big impact. Car pollution doesn’t just affect the planet -- it also affects people’s health. A recent study found that even a moderate amount of air pollution from cars can be linked to increased cases of acute asthma attacks in children and higher infant mortality rates.

Pascal Canfin, a French centrist MEP, who chairs the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment (ENVI), said the ban on new gas cars is "a historic decision that will lead us towards a new era of climate neutrality. It is a major victory.”

Forbes: ​​EU Ban On New Gas And Diesel Vehicles By 2035, June 9, 2022.

France 24: EU Parliament approves ban on new fossil-fueled cars by 2035, June 8, 2022.

European Parliamentary Research Service: Fitfor55 | A new energy system, May 13, 2022.