04/09/2021 at 09:14 CEST
It is one of the ‘star’ contents of the Climate Change Law recently approved by the Ecological Transition Commission of the Congress of Deputies: gasoline, diesel or other fossil fuel cars will no longer be sold after 2040. And yet Does that mean that from that year on, all those vehicles will disappear as if by magic from our streets and highways? Will it be forbidden to circulate with those that still exist then?
The articles of the law make it clear that combustion engine vehicles may not be marketed (gasoline, diesel and other petroleum derivatives) as of that year. In other words, car dealers will not be able to have this type of car in stock nor can they be registered.
However, a vehicle that is sold, for example, in December 2040, may continue to circulate as long as it is in a position to do so, which means that there will probably be a significant number of thermal cars on Spanish roads until well into the 2050s. .
What the approved law says
It is true that the wording of the article of the bill approved in Congress (it needs its approval by the Senate before it enters into force, which can happen in twenty days) is not very categorical. However, it also leaves no room for doubt. Article 12 says in its first section that the different Spanish Administrations “will adopt measures to achieve in 2050 a fleet of cars and light commercial vehicles without direct CO2 emissions & rdquor ;.
Section 2 of the same article is the one that specifies more: “In developing the decarbonisation strategy to 2050, the necessary measures will be adopted, in accordance with European Union regulations, so that new cars and light commercial vehicles, excluded those registered as historic vehicles, not intended for commercial use, gradually reduce their emissions, so that no later than 2040 are vehicles with emissions of 0g CO2 / km& rdquor ;.
But what about the rest of Europe? Is the Spanish case a singular event? Not much less. In reality, the 2040 horizon is quite conservative when compared to what other countries around us have already decided.
Great Britain, in 2030; Norway, in 2025
It is the case of Britain. Its prime minister, Boris Johnson, who until recently ridiculed even climate change, has taken the lead and has now become the champion of what he calls “a green revolution”. His cabinet has banned gasoline and diesel cars from 2030, that is, ten years earlier than in Spain.
The British Government, in fact, has advanced that prohibition in some years with respect to its initial objective. Of course, the government will inject a budget of 582 million pounds into its budgets to help the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.
Johnson also assures that this commitment to the electric vehicle will create some 250,000 jobs in sectors such as energy, transport and technology.
However, if a country breaks records of haste in the disappearance of polluting cars, it is undoubtedly Norway. His government decided in the past decade that by 2025 (four years from now) vehicles that emit toxic gases should no longer be sold or registered, including hybrids (which do not stop having a heat engine as well).
Norway, however, is a special case. Thanks to the strong commitment of its Administration to decarbonisation, already in 2015 25% of all its cars were 100% electric, but in 2020 the percentage was already 54.3%. In other words, there are already more electric than thermal cars in the country.
It is striking that this situation occurs in a country whose GDP is based, above all, on the oil industry.
Sweden has also set, like Great Britain, the year 2030 as the end of polluting vehicles. But that is also the year chosen by many other nations: Holland, Slovenia, Austria, Costa Rica, South Korea or Israel.
And also India and China have announced the end of emissions in motorized mobility on their roads. India, which is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has also set the year 2030 as the horizon for the same goal, although no one is unaware of the difficulties that the very nature of the Indian automobile market will impose in this case.
China, which is the number one in global emissions, intends to end polluting vehicles by 2040. If this objective materializes in this country, it would represent a fundamental step, given the immense number of vehicles it has, around 300 million, also including motorcycles, according to the latest data.
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