EU agrees on 30% CO2 emission reduction for trucks
The Environment Ministers of the European Union have agreed on a stricter emission standard for trucks. By 2025, new trucks and coaches should emit 15% less CO2 than in 2019, and by 2030 that should be less than 30%.
The 28 Member States also support a revision clause in 2022, which provides the possibility of introducing new targets for 2035 and 2040.
Minus 54 million tons of CO2
“The program will save around 54 million tons of CO2 between 2020 and 2030. This corresponds to Sweden’s total annual CO2 emissions”, Austrian Environment Minister, Elisabeth Köstinger, underlined on Twitter. Austria currently holds the Presidency of the EU.
Countries, such as Sweden, called for a greater reduction and others, such as Germany, which have a large automotive sector, resisted too strict standards. Europe must reduce its greenhouses gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 – a provision in the Paris climate agreement – so, it must also tackle road transport: heavy vehicles account for 27% of CO2 emissions from road transport and for 6% of total CO2 emissions in the EU.
Tens of thousands of jobs at stake
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (Acea) had campaigned for a much lower reduction in heavy road transport vehicle emissions, 7% by 2025 and 16% by 2030, although this sector is the only one whose emissions continue to increase.
According to Acea, the possibilities to electrify trucks are much fewer than for cars and this can only work over short intra-city distances but not for road transport itself. MAN, Volkswagen’s truck subsidiary, has already announced that the new CO2 emission standards will cost tens of thousands of jobs.
EU sets an example
It is the first time that the EU will set limits for CO2 emissions for trucks, contrary to countries such as the United States, China, Japan and Canada.
Negotiations will now begin early next year to find a compromise with the European Parliament, which, more ambitiously, aims for a 35% reduction target by 2030.