The European Parliament’s decision to ban internal combustion engines will cost Europe hundreds of thousands of jobs and leave a vital European industry dangerously dependent on batteries, raw materials and rare earths of dubious origin and availability.
The ECR Group had previously called for technological openness, leaving room for further development of combustion technology. The Conservatives also criticised the environmental impact on countries where the necessary rare earths are mined. ECR shadow rapporteur Pietro Fiocchi said in the plenary debate:
“Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in Europe as a result of this decision. What is also important is that we will become totally dependent on non-European countries, especially China — for example, for microchips, lithium, cobalt and so on.
“The environmental impact — for example in Africa, where important raw materials for electric cars are extracted — is terrible. We have to put it in the context of the reduction in CO2 that we hope to see.
“My hope remains that we will be more realistic when it comes to heavy and agricultural vehicles”.