Despite Lindner’s objection: Environment Minister Lemke announces “yes” for EU phase-out of combustion engines

Lemke announced that Germany agrees to the Europe-wide ban on combustion cars, which Finance Minister Lindner publicly criticised within a very short time. He said that the Environment Minister’s statements were not in line with what had previously been agreed. In Luxembourg, the EU environment ministers met to vote, among other things, on a ban on new registrations of vehicles with an internal combustion engine after the year 2035.


Need for discussion in the coalition government

The federal leader of the FDP, Christian Lindner, was surprised by the words of his coalition colleague to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. He said that what Lemke had said was not to be expected, as they were not the same as the agreements made previously. After all, internal combustion engines should still be present in all vehicles after 2035. However, only if CO₂-neutral fuels such as e-fuels are used.

Despite Lindner's objection: Environment Minister Lemke announces "yes" for EU phase-out of combustion engines. Dispute in the coalition.
Despite Lindner’s objection: Environment Minister Lemke announces “yes” for EU phase-out of combustion engines. Dispute in the coalition.

Lindner criticises Lemke

Lindner was reacting to statements made by Lemke in an interview for the “Morgenmagazin” (ZDF). There, the Green politician indicated that she was in favour of the agreed package to protect the environment under certain circumstances. If the plan included that cars would no longer emit exhaust gases after 2035, then internal combustion engines would not be categorically rejected and the package would be approved. At the same time, however, the focus should be on promoting electric vehicles. However, Lindner wants to abolish the purchase premium for electric cars.


Lindner already threatened with drastic consequences

At the beginning of the week, the federal government was still unable to publish an agreed position on the ban on internal combustion engines to the public. Even before that, Finance Minister Lindner mentioned a possible blockade within the coalition government if no agreement was reached. This would mean that Germany would have to hold talks at the European level in the event of a possible ban on combustion engines. Despite the obvious disagreement among the governing politicians, many a coalition member is less pessimistic about future developments with regard to combustion engines.


Robert Habeck has retained his optimism

Economics Minister Robert Habeck is watching the discord and expects further negotiations regarding the possible ban on the sale of combustion engines to drag on. When asked whether the German government coalition was able to reach a common denominator, the Green politician nodded confidently. He declared that it would be a well-prepared day that would end in success before Lemke went to Luxembourg.

Other countries are also divided on the issue. Italy, for example, last week proposed postponing the ban on internal combustion engines for five years until 2040, which was affirmatively supported by countries such as Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia.

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