The EU today unveiled a huge package of climate-based reforms including an effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035.
Under the proposals, the European Commission said it was targeting a 100 per cent reduction in emissions from cars by the middle of the next decade.
In order to push consumers towards electric vehicles, it also proposed that countries should install public charging points along major roads every 60 kilometres at most by 2025.
In addition to the automotive proposals, the Commission also laid out plans to get rid of a tax exemption for aviation and maritime fuel.
It will also encourage fuel suppliers to increase the amount of sustainable aviation fuels into existing jet fuels.
The “Fit for 55” plan, which lays out how the EU can cut emissions 55 per cent by 2030, is the bloc’s most ambitious climate strategy yet.
EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said: “We do it to give humanity a fighting chance.
“We’re going to ask a lot of our citizens. We’re also going to ask a lot of our industries, but we do it for good cause.”
The proposals, which also include charging importers at the border for the carbon emitted in making products such as cement, steel and aluminium abroad, need to be ratified by both the EU’s 27 individual member states and the European Parliament.
The process could take as long as two years, and it is expected it will be hampered by intense lobbying from the sectors affected.