CO2 emissions from trucks limited by new EU rules

co2 emissions from trucks
© iStock/Chmiel

The European Parliament has approved its first ever regulation specifically governing levels of emissions from trucks and lorries.

Heavy duty vehicles such as lorries and trucks account for 27 per cent of transport emissions on the EU’s roads and just under five per cent of the bloc’s total emissions of greenhouse gases. CO2 emissions from trucks and lorries have increased by 25 per cent since 1990, primarily due to the overall increase of freight vehicles on roads; and emission levels produced by heavy duty vehicles are projected to continue to increase unless new policies restricting allowable levels of emissions are implemented – to date no specific regulations are in place covering greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles across the EU.

Under the new legislation, designed to counteract the impact of current heavy vehicle emissions levels, CO2 emissions from trucks and other heavy duty vehicles must be reduced by at least 30 per cent by 2030. As an “intermediate reduction target”, emissions must be cut by 15 per cent by 2025; in another 2025 target, manufacturers must ensure at least two per cent of new heavy duty vehicle sales comprise zero- and low-emission vehicles by that date. The Commission has further pledged to introduce post-2030 targets for heavy duty vehicle manufacturers by 2022, taking into account emissions targets set in the Paris Agreement.

Rapporteur Bas Eickhout said: “It is a great success that the EU is taking action for the first time on CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles. The regulation will help to reduce pollution on our roads and to improve air quality. The future of cleaner trucks will be driven by innovation. This legislation should therefore encourage the industry to spur on change and advances in technology.”

The text of the regulation will now be passed to the European Council for formal approval before it can enter into force.

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