06 Dec 2018
The pressing need to act on climate change has motivated European lawmakers to propose a series of measures.
On Wednesday, two government officials stated that Italy is planning to offer subsidies of up to €6,000 to buyers of new low emission vehicles, while raising taxes on new petrol and diesel cars.
This follows David Attenborough’s moving speech and plea given at the United Nations climate summit earlier this week, which encouraged world leaders to take quick action and safeguard the climate. Although initially greeted with mass approval, the actual implementation of measures has triggered an outcry among the public – with the car industry specifically saying that tighter regulations would negatively impact its competitiveness.
This bonus granted to those who buy a new electric, hybrid or methane gas-powered car (as from Jan 1, 2019) has been approved by Italy’s Lower House Budget Committee as an amendment to the 2019 budget.
If the budget is approved, the incentives will take place until 2021 and add up to 300 million euros a year.
This advanced measure would also consist of a surcharge of up to 3,000 euros (depending on the level of carbon emissions produced) for those purchasing new cars which run on traditional fuels.
"It will become more and more attractive to buy less polluting cars,” said Infrastructure Undersecretary Michele Dell'Orco and Industry Undersecretary Davide Crippa in a statement – two members of the anti-establishment 5-star Movement which is working to decrease the usage of fossil fuels and instead promote electricity generated from renewable sources.
Foreign car manufacturers association UNRAE revealed that last month, 7% of Italy’s car sales were made up of electric, hybrid and methane gas-powered cars.
Paolo Scudieri, the head of Italian car sector's association ANFIA, accused EU lawmakers of introducing emissions targets which were not feasible with regards to timing and application.
Germany and France are also proposing new measures and incentives to reduce pollution and quicken the transition to a climate-friendly lifestyle.