Home » The same procedure as last year, Mr. Wissing?
Deutschland Europe Nachrichten Welt

The same procedure as last year, Mr. Wissing?

Welcome to the Transport Brief!

Every year on New Year’s Eve, Germans watch a sketch with the catchphrase “the same procedure as last year” — probably to remind each other that, no matter what happens, some things just stay the same.

On Friday (9 February), EU ambassadors adopted the new CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles, following a three-day row where Germany risked thwarting the majority.

After previously supporting the deal, liberal FDP (Renew), part of Germany’s three-party ruling coalition, blocked the agreement (and without Germany, no sufficient majority was expected).

What followed was a short-lived period, resembling the same procedure last year, where Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) blocked the de-facto ban for combustion engine cars as of 2035.

“The same procedure as last year, Mr. Wissing?” — “The same procedure as every year, Ursula,” to slightly adapt the sketch.

The very same agreement was struck, which commits the Commission to creating a new category of “e-fuels-only” trucks, which will continue to be allowed even after 2040.

On public TV, Wissing justified his last-minute intervention with the need to create “planning security for e-fuels”, which is funny because his very own ministry had just a few weeks ago announced some significant funding cuts for e-fuels.

Planning certainty for e-fuels is indeed crucial, as Europe is currently unable to produce enough e-fuels even to meet its green aviation targets. But maybe next time, Wissing should start with his own homework?

Source: Euractiv