February 26. 2024. 4:28

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Slovakia joins ‘anti-combustion engine ban club’

Slovakia’s environment ministry must join Germany, Austria, Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic in opposing the EU’s de facto combustion engine ban from 2035, according to a resolution voted by Slovak lawmakers on Wednesday.

The National Council’s European Affairs Committee voted to force the hand of Environment Minister Ján Budaj despite him having backed the ban so far.

“My amendment […] instructs the Environment Minister to immediately join Germany, Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic, which have expressed their opposition, and to vote against the ban on internal combustion engines when this issue is discussed or voted on in the Council of Ministers of the EU,” a member of the committee, MP Ján Oravec (Freedom and Solidarity), has said.

The environment ministry, responsible for the file, previously said it supports the ban, joining a growing list of countries that have backpedalled on initial stances.

“Slovakia supports the draft regulation regulating CO2 standards for light-duty vehicles, according to which the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines is to be banned after 2035,” the Environment Ministry told EURACTIV Slovakia in early March.

However, the economy and transport ministries have argued against the ban.

Last autumn, the European Parliament and EU member states agreed to a de facto ban on sales of new combustion engine cars from 2035. While the de facto ban seemed broadly on track, Germany and others called the legislation into question and demanded an exemption for cars running on synthetic fuels just a couple of days before the planned Council vote.

Following this development, Germany was joined by other countries, including Austria and the Czech Republic. While Bulgaria, Italy, and Poland opposed the ban even before and have maintained their view.

It is not yet known when the vote will take place.