Denmark, backed by 10 other European Union countries, wants to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in order to combat global warming. The country said on Friday it was seeking a strategy to phase out the polluting cars, including permitting the ban of sales at member state-level by 2030.
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Denmark understands the sense of urgency
The proposal was made during a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg.
“We need to acknowledge that we are in a bit of a hurry,” Danish Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen told Reuters.
Denmark had already announced in October 2018 a decision to ban the sale of all new fossil fuel-powered cars by 2030. However, the idea had to be buried because it would have gone against EU rules.
Jorgensen told Reuters that allowing individual states to ban sales on new fossil fuel-powered cars could put pressure on the European Commission to implement a complete phasing out of the polluting vehicles in the bloc in the next few decades.
He added that even if the EU could not agree on a union-wide ban, it would be beneficial if at least individual countries were given permission to go ahead with the measure.
A European ban is the goal, but alliances are an alternative
“Plan A would be to make it a European ban,” he said.
Jorgensen added Denmark’s next plan would be to set up an alliance with the 10 member states that support its vision.
“Then I think others will follow,” he said.
According to the United Nations' Climate Change Performance Index 2013, Denmark was the most climate-friendly country in the world, with the most efficient policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing climate change. The country scored an impressive 72.61 points out of a possible 100 points for its climate efforts.