EU sets stricter emission standards for trucks

Trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles must reduce their CO2 emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2019, a threshold that will be raised to 65 per cent by 2035 and 90 per cent by 2040. The European regulation was approved by member states in the European Council on Monday.

The new emission standards are part of the broad Fit for 55 legislative package, which aims to ensure that the European Union emits at least 55 per cent less greenhouse gases by 2030 than it did in 1990. By 2050, the EU should be climate-neutral, meaning it should have zero net emissions.

Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for more than 25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from road transport in the EU and account for over 6 per cent of total CO2 emissions in the EU. To reduce emissions further, the Commission proposed a revision of the existing CO2 emission standards in 2023. It is that text that has now been approved by the member states in the Council, after the Parliament had previously given the go-ahead.

The new regulation broadens the scope of the standards. Almost all new heavy-duty vehicles with certified CO2 emissions are subjected to emission reduction targets, including smaller trucks, urban buses, coaches and trailers.

The existing 2025 target - a 15 per cent emission reduction for heavy-duty trucks over 16 tonnes - is retained, but as climate goals have tightened over the years, the targets have been adjusted: by 2030, reductions must be at least 45 per cent instead of the former target of 30 per cent. Truck manufacturers will also have to reduce the CO2 emissions of their fleets by at least 65 per cent by 2035 and at least 90 per cent by 2040.

In its bill, the Commission had also advocated zero emissions for urban buses from 2030, but member states and MEPs set the bar at 90 per cent. The deadline for zero emissions for urban buses was set for 2035.

The new regulation will be reviewed in 2027. The Commission will then also consider whether lighter trucks, weighing less than 5 tonnes, should be included in the regulation.



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