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BRUSSELS: Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania want to delay a European Union plan to effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 by five years, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The policy is a key pillar of the EU’s plans to tackle rising transport emissions and speed the shift to electric vehicles, as the bloc strives to cut economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions 55% by 2030, from 1990 levels.

The car emissions proposal, made by the European Commission last year, would require a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035, making it impossible to sell fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the EU from that date.

Ministers from EU countries plan to agree their position next week, before negotiating the final law with the EU parliament - which supported the 2035 ban in a vote this month.

In a paper circulated among EU states, the five countries called instead for a 90% car CO2 cut by 2035 and a 100% target by 2040. They said light commercial vehicles should meet an 80% CO2 cut by 2035 and 100% by 2040, rather than the 100% reduction by 2035 proposed by the Commission.

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