Addressing the past failures of the European CO2 regulation for cars and vans: does the “fit for 55” update meets the challenge?

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Brussels (2023)


In 2022 the European Union took the ground-breaking decision of banning the sales of ICEVs from 2035 onward via the “fit for 55” update of the CO2 regulation for cars and vans. The purpose of this presentation is:

1) to identify the political and institutional conditions that have made such a drastic decision possible;

2) to evaluate how (politically, socially and environmentally) sustainable is this accelerated transition to electro-mobility triggered by the “fit for 55” regulation.

The presentation will analyse from this perspective the problem represented by growing CO2 emissions from cars in the European Union and whether the updated regulation solves this problem and addresses its past failures.

It will show that this is not the case, because the regulation keeps pushing sales upmarket making cars heavier, more powerful and more expensive, drastically reducing as a result the environmental benefits of electrification.

It also highlights the crucial issue of a growing unequal access to new cars, and in particular to electric cars, as a major political hurdle towards decarbonisation of the car fleet, in particular in Southern, Central and Eastern European countries.

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Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Juan Sebastian Carbonell, Lorenza MonacoGéry Deffontaines

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