The European Commission has hailed the recent agreement reached between the European Parliament and Council to ramp up measures for reducing CO2 emissions from new buses and trucks entering the EU market.
Heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) contribute to over 25% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road transport in the EU and make up more than 6% of the total EU GHG emissions. This move is a clear sign of the EU’s commitment to combating climate change and is in line with its ambitious climate targets for 2030 and beyond.
The agreement was reached following the Commission’s proposal of the draft regulation in February 2023, aimed at establishing CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles starting in 2030. In addition to backing the EU’s objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, this proposal also seeks to decrease reliance on imported fossil fuels.
The new regulation will establish more stringent CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles, with targets set for 2030, 2035, and 2040. This framework is designed to ensure that this niche of the transport sector plays its part in reducing overall CO2 emissions.
The agreement establishes precise goals for decreasing emissions from HDVs, with a 45% reduction target for the years 2030–2034, a 65% reduction target for 2035–2039, and a 90% reduction target starting in 2040, all in comparison to levels from 2019.
Furthermore, in order to speed up the shift to zero-emission public transportation throughout Europe, new urban buses will need to decrease emissions by 90% by 2030. All new urban buses must be completely emissions-free by 2035.
As part of the temporary agreement, the Commission will assess the efficiency and consequences of the regulation by 2027.
This assessment is scheduled to address the inclusion of small trucks, a system for registering HDVs that operate solely on CO2 neutral fuels, in accordance with EU laws and climate neutrality goals, the significance of a carbon correction factor in the shift to zero-emission HDVs, and a system for determining the complete lifecycle CO2 emissions of new HDVs.