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European Parliament backs emissions cuts for heavy-duty vehicles

The European Parliament has backed plans for lorries to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030. MEPs adopted a higher target (35 percent) than the European Commission (30 percent) for new lorries to reduce the EU´s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20 percent by 2025.

Along with sharper emissions reduction target compared to the Commission’s proposal, MEP’s also adopted on November 14, 2018, a demand that manufacturers will also have to ensure that zero- and low-emission vehicles, which emit at least 50 percent fewer emissions, represent a 20 percent market share of the sales of new ones by 2030, and 5 percent by 2025.

According to a statement, heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) are responsible for 27 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road transport in the EU and almost 5 percent of EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 2016.

Since 1990, heavy-duty vehicle emissions have increased by 25 percent – mainly as a result of an increase in road freight traffic – and, in the absence of new policies, are projected to increase further.

Along with sharper emissions reduction target compared to the Commission’s proposal, MEP’s also adopted a demand that manufacturers will also have to ensure that zero- and low-emission vehicles, which emit at least 50 percent fewer emissions, represent a 20 percent market share of the sales of new ones by 2030, and 5 percent by 2025.

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

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, said rapporteur Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL).

MEPs also acknowledged 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.

The European Parliament adopted its position on November 14, 2018, with 373 votes to 285 and 16 abstentions. MEPs will now enter into negotiations with the Council of Ministers.

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