EC to force HGV CO2 emissions reductions 29 May 2014

The European Commission has endorsed a new Europe-wide focus on CO2 emissions from freight transport vehicles, with its publication of a report entitled 'Reducing Heavy-duty vehicles' fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.'

The Commission makes the point that trucks, buses and coaches produce around a quarter of CO2 from road transport in the EU and some 5% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Hence the new strategy, aimed at curbing CO2 emissions, which the Commission says will need further action "despite some improvements in fuel efficiency", because "emissions from HGVs rose 36% between 1990 and 2010, mainly due to increasing road freight traffic".

Indeed, the Commission believes that, without policy action, HGV emissions across Europe will still be close to current levels in 2030 and 2050. "This is clearly incompatible with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport by around 60% below 1990 levels by 2050", says the Commission – as set out in 2011in its Transport White Paper.

The EC's HGV strategy, now formally adopted, is the EU's first initiative to tackle CO2 emissions from trucks, buses and coaches – starting with short-term action "to certify, report and monitor" HGV emissions.

The Commission says it will use its new VECTO computer simulation tool to measure CO2 emissions from new vehicles, and then, in 2015, propose legislation requiring CO2 emissions from new HGVs to be certified, reported and monitored.

Further measures outlined as possible in the medium term may include: the setting of mandatory limits on average CO2 emissions from newly-registered HGVs (similar to those for cars and vans); more emphasis on the infrastructure and pricing to support alternative fuels for HGVs; and mechanisms around vehicle taxation in EU member states.

Brian Tinham

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Related Companies
European Commission- Joint Research Centre

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