International, Transport Industry News

New CO2 emission reduction targets set in Europe

New targets have been set overseas for carbon emissions from heavy vehicles, which could soon be followed in Australia.

The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on new measures to strengthen CO2 emission reduction targets for new heavy-duty vehicles.

The agreement aims to further reduce CO2 emissions in the road transport sector and to introduce new targets for the upcoming years.

Negotiators agreed on CO2 emissions reduction targets of 45 per cent for the period 2030-2034; 65 per cent for 2035-2039; and 90 per cent as of 2040.

The new targets will apply for large trucks over 7.5 tonnes (including vocational vehicles, such as garbage trucks, tippers or concrete mixers as of 2035), and buses.

Emissions reduction targets are also set for trailers at 7.5 per cent and semi-trailers at 10 per cent, starting from 2030.

Military and emergency vehicles remain exempt from the standards, as do small-volume manufacturers and heavy vehicles used for mining, forestry and agriculture.

As the targets are fleet-based, truck manufacturers will continue to be able to produce combustion engine vehicles running on fossil fuels after 2040, but they will comprise a minority of their offerings.

Instead, the vast majority of trucks and coaches sold after that date are expected to be powered by electric batteries or hydrogen, eliminating tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions.

There will be a detailed review of the effectiveness of the reduction targets in 2027, where they will assess the expansion of the scope to smaller trucks.

They will also assess the role of a methodology for registering heavy-duty vehicles exclusively running on CO2-neutral fuels, in conformity with EU law and climate neutrality objective and the role of a carbon correction factor in the transition towards zero-emission HDVs.

The new rules and targets will contribute to fulfilling the EU’s 2030 climate ambitions and reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

The European Parliament and Council need to approve the agreement formally before it can enter into force.

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