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German lawmakers vote to ban all new gas-powered cars after 2030

Lawmakers in the Bundesrat, the upper house of Germany's parliament, agreed to a resolution that would ban production of all new internal combustion engines — which means all new gas- and diesel-powered cars — beginning in 2030, Der Spiegel reported Saturday. Instead, "only zero-emission passenger vehicles will be approved," the ban says.

On its own, the resolution has no legal authority, because such a ban would have to be enacted by the European Union, not at the national level. However, notes Forbes, "German regulations traditionally have shaped EU" regulations, so the ban could be made enforceable if the predictable objections of European automakers (and the many auto factory workers who would lose their jobs) are overcome.

Supporters of the engine ban say it is necessary to slow the effects of climate change. "If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030," said Oliver Krischer, a German Greens party lawmaker, referencing the recently ratified Paris climate agreement, which is concerned with greenhouse gas emissions like those produced by gas-powered cars.