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New EU emissions trading system: will it help decarbonise road transport?
EU | Brussels

New EU emissions trading system: will it help decarbonise road transport?

21 Apr 2023 · Environment

The European Parliament has adopted a new emissions trading system for buildings and road transport (ETS II) that will go live in 2027.

The European Parliament has passed the ETS II text which the Council and Parliament had agreed on in December 2022.

The compromise to launch ETS II in 2027 – compared to 2024, a start date initially supported in the European Parliament, or even 2025 and 2026, as originally proposed by the European Commission – is considerably more realistic, given the expected pace of infrastructure and technological development.

IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “We do not see this deal as a major decarbonisation achievement. 

“It is doubtful that the basic conditions for a massive shift to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, such as the vehicles themselves, not to mention the adequate charging and refuelling infrastructure needed across the EU, will be in place in just four years.”

“But it’s better than further penalising transport operators by launching ETS II earlier, as proposed at different stages of the legislative discussion,” she added.

The road sector’s call to charge carbon emissions as efficiently as possible is reflected in the text adopted. ETS II will generally supersede existing national schemes, unless national schemes set higher prices for allowances. This eases transport operators’ concerns that carbon emissions could be charged at both the national and EU level.

As part of the formal process, the agreement will also have to be approved by the Council of the EU, after which the legislation will be enacted.

Additional information on ETS II is included in IRU’s reaction following the deal in December 2022.