Pursuant to the January agreement, the Swedish government plans to launch an inquiry to investigate the possibility of banning sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
On behalf of the Fores think tank, Åsa Romson, former Green Party spokesperson and now an environmental lawyer at the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), has investigated potential obstacles to the plans, focusing on EU legislation.
Her conclusion is that Sweden cannot unilaterally ban the sales. “Today we have harmonised rules on the single market. A car that is approved in one country must be approved in all countries. Therefore, a process would be required at EU level, whereby Sweden and other countries take the initiative for a decision to phase out petrol and diesel cars,” she says.
Alternatively, a decision would be required within the EU, one which would permit individual countries to take a lead. “But it is hard to imagine that the EU would not have harmonised rules for vehicles, as it would be extremely complicated for the single market.”
One alternative for the government would be to set new vehicle fuel requirements, suggests Romson.
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