A law draft by Pedro Sanchez’ government outlines a ban on petrol and diesel vehicle sales in 2040. Sanchez hopes to take the proposal before parliament before the year is over.
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The proposal specifically aims to stop “the registration and sale in Spain of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles that directly emit carbon dioxide.” This means the ban would also affect hybrid vehicles, as well as more traditional combustion motors. Once finalised, the proposal still has to gain parliamentary approval. Sanchez’ party holds less than a quarter of the seats, and are staunchly opposed by the conservative People’s Party, which holds a majority in both upper and lower houses.
Compared to the rest of the EU, Spain has not been particularly progressive in terms of climate goals or emissions reduction, as both Britain and France have pledged to ban petrol and diesel sales by 2040, and Denmark and Israel are aiming at 2030. Scotland will ban combustion vehicle sales in 2032, which is also the date discussed in the UK.
The Sanchez administration has worked to improve EV conditions, to which end they combined the environment and energy ministries. They have passed measures reducing electricity prices and favouring the production of renewable energy. Under Madrid’s current climate change plan, greenhouse emissions will be cut to 20% below 1990 levels by 2030. This stands somewhat in opposition to the European Union, which as a whole has cited plans to reduce emissions by 40%.
This month, the Spanish capital will also see the Madrid Central plan launch, which will limit traffic in the inner city area. Now only residents, their visitors and vehicles with special permission will be allowed into the city centre. An absolute ban on vehicles without an environmental sticker also applies. That means gasoline vehicles registered before 2000 and diesel vehicles from before 2006. All vehicles with more than 40 km electric range are exempt from the ban, however.
Update 20 May 2020: The Spanish government has passed a draft climate law that aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. In the draft law, which still has to be passed by parliament, the Spanish government is also sticking to its 2018 target of only permitting the registration of pure electric cars from 2040 onwards.
The climate law marks out interim targets for 2030 whereby overall emissions must be reduced by 23 per cent from 1990 levels. Overall the Spanish government has mapped out a plan to double the percentage of renewables to 35-42 per cent, insisting that electricity generation must be at least 70 per cent renewable, as well as harnessing energy efficiency improvements to cut overall energy consumption by 35 per cent. To advance this aim, the Spanish government will also be encouraging the use of bicycles. For electric cars, recharging points will be gradually installed in service stations with the highest sales volume.
With additional reporting by Carrie Hampel
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