Since gasoline cars will no longer be able to circulate: “With the EU elections…” Reverse gear in sight

The 2024 European elections will also have a decisive influence on EU environmental policies. If the polls came out with a result similar to the one that took Giorgia Meloni to the Palazzo Chigi, that is, a great victory for the centre-right coalition, the Government would have votes to reverse the course of the European Union on environmental issues. An “ideological environmentalism”, as repeatedly reiterated by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, and the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, but also his predecessor, Roberto Cingolani. One of the first measures that could be skipped would be to stop thermal engines by 2035.

Just yesterday, Coreper, the body that brings together permanent ambassadors to the EU, decided to postpone the vote. A decision that the Minister of the Environment Pichetto Fratin welcomed: «The new referral to the EU on the decision regarding the stoppage of internal combustion engines in 2035 precisely takes into account the strong resistance of some European countries, with Italy in the front row, to a configuration of the Regulation too ideological and not concrete».

A concept that Minister Urso had also expressed in bilateral meetings in Brussels. ‘The European Commission must adapt common policies to new economic and social realities. In the automotive sector, we have sounded the alarm because we believe it is necessary to follow a pragmatic and non-ideological vision, and in the conversations we had, we realized that our reflections are finding more and more consensus. We hope that reason will prevail in the next dossiers, from the CO2 regulation on heavy vehicles to Euro 7, on which we ask for a technological neutrality approach, as well as on other measures that have consequences on the competitiveness of the industrial system, such as those of packaging, ecodesign, wastewater. Ultimately, we ask that reason prevail.”

The request is clear: transition yes, but based on numbers and not ideology. And in automobiles, the objective must be to reduce emissions, a goal that cannot necessarily be achieved through the electric motor. Also because, with the green light for electric motors, Italy runs the risk of becoming dependent on China and the US. In addition to the fact that, as Pichetto Fratin recalled, for the time being the electricity sector “is a supply chain for a few” given prices. Another issue is that of plastic packaging that the European Union would like to remove from the market by 2030. A decision that could undermine what has been built in Italy in recent decades with industrial investments in the circular economy of packaging. The Italian recycling model ranks first in Europe. For this reason, Confindustria had already raised the alarm in October 2022: “Packaging management could put almost 700,000 companies in Italy at risk”. We protect the environment, but without harming our industrial chains for the benefit of other countries.

Source: IL Tempo