EU regulations are critical to delivering on Government plans to phase out the sale of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles
Ireland is to join a legal effort to defend EU targets to get new petrol and diesel cars off the road by 2035. At Cabinet on Tuesday, Tánaiste Micheál Martin got Government approval for Ireland to intervene in a case challenging EU plans to effectively ban internal combustion engine cars by 2035.
The legal action aims to overturn EU regulations strengthening C02 emission performance standards for new cars and vans which would see new targets reduce emissions by 55 per cent in cars and 50 per cent in vans from 2030, and 100 per cent from the start of 2035.
The EU regulations are in turn critical to delivering on Government plans to phase out the sale of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles, a Government spokesman said on Tuesday.
The case is being taken by makers of carbon-neutral synthetic fuels who, among other things, argue the EU regulations fail to capture the full environmental impact of making battery powered electric vehicles.
“Ireland was relying heavily on this legislation to support delivery of our programme for government commitment to ban these vehicle sales by 2030,” the Government spokesman said.
The EU has said that individual member states are unable to move alone outside of EU law – and therefore Ireland is restricted in introducing such a ban by way of domestic legislation.
“If this case is successful it will significantly impact on the EU’s ability to achieve those climate targets for the transport sector, and then similarly upon Ireland’s ability to meet our 2030 climate action targets in relation to private fleet electrification, which is a key measure of the decarbonisation of the sector nationally. For this reason there is a strong rationale for Ireland to seek leave to intervene in the case,” the spokesman told journalists on Tuesday.
The Government said it is understood a number of other member states are considering joining the legal action ahead of a deadline of October 23rd for notifying the European Court of Justice.
Under the State’s climate action plan the Government intends to deliver almost one million electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030, with electrification of the car fleet “the single most impactful abatement measures to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in C02 emissions from the transport sector by 2030”.
Source : Irishtimes