EU postpones vote on ban on sale of cars powered by internal combustion engines

A spokesman for the Swedish presidency of the Council of the European Union announced on Friday the postponement of the vote on banning the sale of cars powered by internal combustion engines in the bloc from 2035.

He added that EU countries would return to the issue in due course.

The vote, which was due to take place next Tuesday, is seen as a formality, as EU countries and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the issue last October.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has confirmed his party's rejection of EU plans to impose a complete ban on new combustion engine cars within the bloc from 2035.

In remarks to the German media group Funke on Thursday, Lindner said: "Our goal is to continue licensing new cars with combustion engines in Germany even after 2035, but then these cars must run on environmentally and climate-friendly fuel."

A vote on a ban on licensing new petrol and diesel cars in the EU from 2035 was due to take place on Tuesday, despite objections from the German government.

German Transport Minister Volker Wiessing (Lindner's party) has criticized the European Commission for not yet submitting a proposal on how to license cars running on climate-friendly fuels after 2035, and Fessing threatened that his country would reject the Commission's plans, which could then deprive the project of the necessary majority.

In return, German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (of the Green Party) is urging her country to approve the Commission's project.