Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday to ban the sale of new combustion engine cars by 2035, in what will be one of the strongest laws in the world for the removal of gasoline vehicles, if approved by the European Council .
While the measure has yet to be debated by the Council and adopted into law, parliamentary voting is seen as the most crucial step in the process. Full approval is likely to mean a drop in sales for hybrid cars and a rapid transition to fully electric models.
Support for the move comes after a series of rejections of other key climate policies on Wednesday.
A center-right parliamentary faction had voiced opposition to the 100% ban by 2035. Some lawmakers had instead called for a 90% ban, meaning one-tenth of all new car sales could to still be combustion engines.
Parliament previously rejected three other key proposals, including its central policy to reform its carbon market.
The automotive industry plays a vital role in the European economy, accounting for 7% of gross domestic product and supporting 14.6 million jobs in the region. But transport is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions are rising and road vehicles accounted for 21% of CO2 emissions in 2017.