Zero-emission vehicles agreement in Glasgow not signed by Spain

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – More than 30 countries, some of the most important car manufacturers, regions, and fleet owners committed themselves at the international climate summit COP26 in Glasgow to stop using combustion engine cars by 2035 as a way to fight the climate crisis.  

At the climate summit in Glasgow on Wednesday, more than 100 parties signed an agreement on zero-emission vehicles. Among them were 31 countries, including Finland, the UK, and Canada. But the three largest markets – the US, China, and Japan – as well as Spain, Germany, and France, have not yet signed. Signatories to the agreement also included 38 regional authorities, 11 car manufacturers, 27 fleet owners, and shared mobility companies. Among the car manufacturers that have signed the pact are major companies such as General Motors, Ford, Mercedes Benz, and Volvo. Together, they account for almost a quarter of global sales –

Spain has ‘done everything’ to combat the internal combustion engine 

Sources from the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge have assured Spanish news agency Efe that ‘Spain has done everything’ to ban the sale of vans and new vehicles with combustion engines by 2035. 

The beginning of the end for petrol and diesel cars 

The agreement signed in Glasgow should mark the beginning of the end for petrol and diesel vehicles. They will be phased out and replaced by zero-emission vehicles by 2035 in key markets. And, furthermore, by 2040 in the rest of the world. According to the UK, chair of COP26, countries and companies that fail to electrify their car production this decade will simply lose their current market share to competitors. The signatory countries – which include India, Canada and Chile – account for almost 15% of the global car market, representing 11.5 million vehicles. 

One fifth of greenhouse gas emissions 

Transport is responsible for one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, 89% of which are from road transport. Electrification of road transport is essential to halve carbon emissions this decade and stabilise global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

Zero-emission vehicles powered by renewable sources can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% over the lifetime of the vehicle. With today’s sold zero-emission cars, life cycle emissions are reduced by more than 50% compared to conventional vehicles. And these benefits will increase as the global electricity grid becomes more and more renewable. And thus contribute to achieving the climate targets. 

About COP26 

COP26 is considered the most important climate summit since the 2015 Paris Summit. Whereas at that time, almost 200 countries concluded the Paris Agreement. The countries promised to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The summit in Glasgow is intended to give countries the opportunity to submit new, more ambitious climate plans. And moreover, to ensure the Paris agreements remain in sight. 


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