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European Parliament adopts stricter CO2 emissions targets for trucks and buses

The European Parliament adopted on Wednesday (10 April) new measures, already agreed upon with the Council of the EU, to increase CO2 emission reduction targets for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).

The regulation, addressing emissions from new trucks, buses and trailers, was endorsed by MEPs with 341 votes in favour, 268 against and 14 abstentions.

According to the new measures, CO2 emissions from large trucks (including vocational vehicles, such as garbage trucks, tippers or concrete mixers) and buses will have to be reduced by 45 per cent for the period 2030-2034, 65 per cent for 2035-2039 and 90 per cent as of 2040.

The Council of the EU still needs to formally approve the agreement before it can enter into force.

By 2030, new urban buses will need to reduce their emissions by 90 per cent and become zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Emissions reduction targets are also set for trailers (7.5 per cent) and semi-trailers (10 per cent), starting from 2030.

The law requires the European Commission to conduct a detailed review of the effectiveness and impact of the new rules by 2027. This review will need to assess, among others, whether to apply the rules to small lorries, the role of a methodology for registering HDVs exclusively running on CO2-neutral fuels and the role that a carbon correction factor could have in the transition towards zero-emission HDVs.

“The transition towards zero-emission trucks and buses is not only key to meeting our climate targets, but also a crucial driver for cleaner air in our cities. We are providing clarity for one of the major manufacturing industries in Europe and a strong incentive to invest in electrification and hydrogen,” said rapporteur Bas Eickhout.

Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for more than 25 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road transport in the EU and account for over 6 per cent of total EU GHG emissions.

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