European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks

Kossovo 2018

World Bank/Lundrim Aliu Air pollution from an old coal-fired power plant in Kosovo.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Today, the European Parliament has backed plans for lorries to cut CO2 emissions by 2030.

MEPs adopted a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new lorries to reduce the EU´s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025.

Manufacturers will also have to ensure that zero- and low-emission vehicles (which emit at least 50% fewer emissions) represent a 20% market share of the sales of new ones by 2030, and 5% by 2025.

Before 2020, the European Commission should come up with plans for a real-world CO2 emissions test for on-road emissions.

Social impact of decarbonisation

MEPs acknowledge that a socially acceptable and balanced transition to zero-emission mobility requires changes throughout the automotive value chain, with a possible negative social impact. The EU should therefore assist workers in the sector learning new skills and reallocating, particularly in regions and communities most affected by the transition.

Lifecycle emissions

In its 2022 report, the European Commission should consider assessing CO2 emissions produced by heavy-duty vehicles during their full life-cycle, and propose, if necessary, reporting obligations for manufacturers.

Quote

Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL) rapporteur, said: “We are regulating the CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles for the first time in European history. The sector is growing fast and so are its emissions. We agreed to raise the ambition compared to what the Commission is proposing, which is possible with the existing technologies. We also need to prepare for new ones, and this is why we are proposing this zero- and low-emission mandate, to push the market into new technologies”.

Next steps

Parliament adopted its position with 373 votes to 285 and 16 abstentions. MEPs will now enter into negotiations with the Council of Ministers.

Background

Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for around a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU. Without further action, their emissions are expected to grow due to increasing road transport volumes.

Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for 27 % of road transport CO2 emissions and almost 5 % of EU greenhouse gas emissions (2016 data). Since 1990, heavy-duty vehicle emissions have increased by 25 % – mainly as a result of an increase in road freight traffic – and, in the absence of new policies, they are projected to increase further.

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