Germany’s finance minister pushes to save car engines from EU green plans – POLITICO

BERLIN — Germany’s Porsche-driving finance minister is mounting a last-minute push to save the combustion engine, claiming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged to make changes to incoming emissions legislation.

Christian Lindner told POLITICO that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had reached a backroom deal with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June to ensure that the use of synthetic fuels, or e-fuels, would be permitted under fresh EU fuel efficiency standards that will introduce a zero emissions mandate for new car and vans sales by 2035.

“There were talks between the federal chancellor and Ursula von der Leyen on this,” Lindner said. “I have no doubt that this understanding will also flow into concrete political steps.”

The Commission declined to comment, referring only to an earlier statement that does not specifically address e-fuels and commits only to launching another legislative initiative “if appropriate.”

A spokesperson for Scholz did not respond to a request for comment.

EU countries, the European Parliament and the Commission agreed on an EU-wide sales ban for polluting vehicles by 2035, which effectively mandates the industry switch to electric or hydrogen. They’re now negotiating the final details, with the goal of reaching a deal by early next year. 

Germany did manage to slip in a mention of e-fuels in June’s Council conclusions, but they’re in a non-binding addition…

Read more…