“The decision to bring forward the end-of-sale date for vehicles using fossil fuels is necessary”

Tribune. France is faced with a historic decision for the future of the climate. While the European Commission is preparing to propose an end-of-sale target for cars using fossil fuels by 2035, the French position threatens to block
European ambition.

Thus, within the French government, some French ministers are reluctant to move up a gear, and wish to maintain the 2040 objective set in the mobility orientation law, at the risk of capsizing European ambition, while several others States, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, or Sweden, committed to implementing this measure ten years earlier, in 2030.

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This position also carries the risk of definitively relegating the French automotive sector to the back of the pack in European industry, while the aid from the recovery plan was intended to guide the automotive industry in the transition. Transport accounts for almost a quarter of CO emissions2 in Europe and these continue to increase.

A public health imperative

It is also a public health imperative, while 22 large French cities are exceeding the standards of the World Health Organization on air pollution. Cleaning up transport, and in particular road transport, is therefore one of the greatest challenges of our century. The continued sale of vehicles using fossil fuels until 2040 seriously compromises the possibility of achieving the climate objectives set by France and the European Union, as confirmed by studies carried out by NGOs at European level, as well as models carried out in France on behalf of the Climate Action Network (Carbon 4 research firm for the Climate Action Network on the basis of carbon budgets set by the national low carbon strategy and a climate objective raised to minus 55 % in 2030).

An end-of-sale date in 2030 would be the best option to secure French and European climate policy, even if it alone will not be enough to put our country back on track with the Paris Agreement.

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France must adopt and take the most ambitious position possible on the subject, in addition to other levers such as sobriety, which implies a strong reduction in car use, and modal shift; levers on which our country has also fallen far behind. Inefficient technologies such as synthetic fuels, or having a negative impact on the climate and the environment, such as agrofuels, must be ruled out.

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