Fact Check: Romania's Government Did NOT Ban Diesel Cars

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Romania's Government Did NOT Ban Diesel Cars 2035 EU Goal

Did the Romanian government vote for an emergency ordinance that imposes a ban on diesel cars in Romania? No, that's not true: The decree approves the country's Long-Term Strategy for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, aligning with the European Union's goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. The EU plans to reach this target by banning all new cars emitting CO2 from entering the market after 2035 while existing diesel cars can still be used by drivers.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here), uploaded by TikTok user @5news.ro (archived here) on December 22, 2023, under the title "Diesel cars are being banned."

(All texts for this article were translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Romania bans Diesel.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Jan 4 12:08:00 2024 UTC)

The government "recently voted for an emergency ordinance that imposes a ban on diesel cars in Romania," says the man speaking in the video, adding that they "claim that this measure is necessary to reduce pollution and to promote electric vehicles."

The mentioned act, Governmental Decree number 1215/2023 (archived here), implements Romania's Long-Term Strategy for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Neutral Romania in 2050 (archived here).

The strategy is in line with The European Climate Law (archived here), which aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and make Europe's economy "climate neutral" by 2050. This will mean achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for EU countries as a whole, mainly by cutting emissions, investing in green technologies, and protecting the natural environment.

Romania's strategy (also available in Romanian, archived here) proposes policy measures for the decarbonization of six key sectors: Energy, Transport, Buildings, Heating and Cooling, Agriculture and Forestry, and Waste, working with three possible models called scenarios.

In the Transport sector (section 6.2 in the document), the strategy aims to reach climate neutrality by introducing electric and hydrogen-powered freight vehicles and increasing the number of electric car charging stations, so that gradually fewer, and eventually zero, cars will use gasoline or diesel.

The "Middle" and the "Romania Neutral" scenarios use the assumption that there will be no diesel cars by 2050. However, the document and the governmental decree do not mention banning diesel cars.

In pursuit of climate neutrality, the EU Parliament, in 2023, approved a regulation (archived here) that sets stricter CO2 emission performance standards for new cars and vans. This regulation aims for a 100 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars and vans by 2035, ensuring that all vehicles entering the market from that year onward are emission-free.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be prohibited from 2035. However, this does not mandate zero CO2 emissions for all existing cars on the road by 2035, and it will not impact current vehicles, as clarified in an FAQ released by the EU Parliament (archived here).

EU citizens will still retain the ability to operate their existing petrol and diesel-driven cars beyond 2035. The FAQ emphasizes that if a new car is purchased now, it can be used until the end of its natural lifespan. The initiative starts in 2035 intending to achieve CO2 neutrality for all cars by 2050, considering the typical 15-year lifespan of a car, as detailed on the webpage.

The speaker in the TikTok video further mentions that the Romanian government has recently instituted a yearly mileage limit of 6,500 km for drivers, a statement found to be misinformation in connection with the same strategy. Lead Stories has fact-checked this claim here.


  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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