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Traffic light agrees on the approval of synthetic fuels for combustion engines

The traffic light parties have agreed on the approval of synthetic fuels, so-called e-fuels, for combustion engines in Germany.

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Traffic light agrees on the approval of synthetic fuels for combustion engines

The traffic light parties have agreed on the approval of synthetic fuels, so-called e-fuels, for combustion engines in Germany. "We need every technical solution, including synthetic fuels" to achieve the climate goals, said Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) on Tuesday. "Openness to technology is the keyword," added FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr and spoke of a "turning point in German transport policy". Wissing also makes e-fuels a condition for the end of combustion engines planned in the EU from 2035.

So far, filling up with e-fuels, which are usually produced from water and CO₂ using electricity, has not been legally possible in its pure form, explained the two FDP MPs Judith Skudelny and Michael Theurer. In the future, these fuels may be sold at public filling stations. You spoke of a "major breakthrough for climate-neutral mobility". With the approval of e-fuels, "hundreds of thousands of jobs could also be secured in the long term".

Theurer announced that the FDP would “continue to advocate openness to technology at EU level”. Wissing makes the topic a condition for the combustion engine planned by the EU. The EU Commission must make a proposal for the period after 2035, he said, otherwise Germany could "not agree to the result of the trilogue negotiations". E-fuels are the “only option” so that combustion engines can also be used climate-neutral afterwards.

The member states and the EU Parliament had already agreed on the end of combustion engines in October. The EU Parliament gave its final formal approval in mid-February. The final approval of the member states is scheduled for March 7 in Brussels at a meeting of EU education ministers.

The fact that the member states give their green light is considered a formality in view of the agreement that has already been reached with the EU Parliament. A qualified majority of at least 15 EU countries, comprising at least 65 percent of the population, is sufficient for the final approval of the member states.

In a dispute in the traffic light coalition, the FDP had prevailed that the federal government advocated synthetic fuels as an exception at EU level. According to the October agreement, the EU Commission should examine whether vehicles with such a combustion engine could still be registered in the future. Wissing now said that the EU Commission must "fulfill its promise".

The Federal Ministry for the Environment recalled that the European process had been going on "for a long time" and was "far advanced". Germany finally agreed to the trilogue result and this was also "coordinated with the other departments". “Germany also has European responsibility here.”

Union parliamentary group leader Ulrich Lange (CSU) explained that Wissing "remembered early on that he wanted to veto the combustion engine off". Rather, he "should have worked to ensure that the traffic lights in Brussels negotiate properly and that the combustion engine does not come to an end in the first place," he added. CSU regional group head Alexander Dobrindt also said that it was "clear that combustion engine technology has a future with synthetic fuels".

Green environmental politician Jan-Niclas Gesenhues, on the other hand, described synthetic fuels as a "bogus solution". They are inefficient and not sufficiently available, he told the news portal "t-online". "E-fuels are energy wasters," Greenpeace explained. "E-cars drive five times as far with the same amount of electricity as with e-fuels."

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