Leaders of the European Parliament agreed on Thursday on a law that will effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars beginning in 2035.

Oil-derived fuels account for 95% of transportation energy consumption. Since 2014, oil consumption from transportation has been increasing at an annual rate of 2.2% on average.

Road transportation consumes the most energy in the transportation sector, accounting for 73% of total demand in 2017. In 2017, it was still 34% higher than in 1990. In 2020, EU countries consumed 220 million tonnes of oil by road transport alone. Together, EU countries host 250 million passenger cars.

Under the new COstandards, new vans and cars must reduce their average emissions by 50% and 55% by 2030. According to an agreement reached by negotiators from the EU’s member states, carmakers must achieve a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2035.

The new law intends to improve the sustainability of the EU’s transportation system. The law forms part of a larger package of green laws to hasten the transition to electric vehicles and tackle climate change.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said: “The agreement sends a strong signal to industry and consumers: Europe is embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility.

“European carmakers are already proving they are ready to step up to the plate, with increasing and increasingly affordable electric cars coming to the market.”

This agreement, reached ahead of COP27, marks the first step toward the adoption of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” legislative proposals, which were presented in July 2021.

One of the “Fit for 55” proposals made by the Commission in July 2021 would change the CO2 emission standards for cars and vans in order to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transportation, and taxation policies suitable for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

By 2035, the new EU regulations won’t apply to older vehicles already on the road, but the overall goal is to ensure that all cars and trucks inside the EU are zero emissions by 2050 through regular fleet replacement.