The reversal came after criticism in Germany and Italy, members with very strong automotive industries.
EU member states agreed on Friday to postpone the final decision on the introduction of a ban on the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines after 2035, the Swedish presidency announced.
The final decision should have been made by the environment ministers who meet next week, on March 7, and now the deputy heads of permanent representations of the member states have decided to postpone it until a later meeting of the Council, said the spokesman of the Swedish presidency of the EU Council, Daniel Holmberg, without specifying reasons for delay.
The negotiators of the Council of the EU, which represents the member states and the European Parliament, reached an agreement in principle at the end of October last year on a regulation that foresees the mandatory application of the zero emission rate of new cars and vans from 2035, which means that from then on they can no longer be sold. gasoline and diesel.
After that, the agreement was confirmed by the European Parliament at the plenary session on February 14, and the Council's final decision remained for the regulation to enter into force.
However, recently, critical voices have started to be heard, especially in Germany and Italy, two member countries with a very strong automotive industry, that the set deadline is too ambitious and premature.
Along with Italy and Germany, Poland and Bulgaria also have reservations about this regulation. If Germany had abstained and Italy opposed, there would not have been enough votes in the Council for a qualified majority.
A decision in the Council can be made if at least 15 of the 27 member states, which have at least 65 percent of the EU's population, vote for it.
There was no convincing majority in the European Parliament either. 340 deputies voted for the decision, 279 were against, and 21 abstained.
The regulation was supported by representatives of social democrats, greens and liberals.