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Zero emissions in 2035 for new cars: Europe is not ready, according to a report

Europe is called to order by the Court of Auditors.

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Zero emissions in 2035 for new cars: Europe is not ready, according to a report

Europe is called to order by the Court of Auditors. The objective of zero greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union for new automobiles from 2035 will be difficult to achieve because the three necessary conditions are not met, according to a report from the European Court of Auditors published on Monday . First “failure”: reducing CO2 emissions from thermal engine cars (petrol and diesel). The EU's independent financial control body points out that emissions from new cars only started to fall in 2020, “i.e. 11 years after the entry into force of the first regulation in this area”. “Despite strong ambitions and strict requirements, most current thermal cars still emit the same amount of CO2 as 12 years ago,” underlines Nikolaos Milionis, one of the authors.

The development of alternative fuels (biofuels, synthetic fuels, hydrogen) constitutes the second axis identified by the Court. But the authors “highlighted the absence of a precise and stable roadmap to solve the sector's long-term problems: the quantity of fuel available, costs and respect for the environment”, they explain . The third path is the development of electric vehicles.

But the EU must “significantly” improve its competitiveness, especially in manufacturing batteries. “The European battery industry is lagging behind”, despite “significant public aid”, note the authors: “less than 10% of global production capacity” is based in Europe and China “holds 76 alone % of global capacity.

“We want to draw attention to the low production capacities and the risks linked to battery imports,” underlined Afonso De Castro Malheiro, one of the authors, on Monday while presenting the report to the press. The document notes Europe's “extreme dependence” “on imports of resources from third countries with which it does not have satisfactory trade agreements” or presenting “geopolitical risks for Europe's strategic autonomy” , “not to mention the social and environmental conditions in which these raw materials are extracted.” Thus, Europe “imports 87% of its raw lithium from Australia, 80% of its manganese from South Africa and Gabon, 68% of its cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo and 40% of its graphite from China ".

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