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Parliament, Council agree on overly idealistic EU truck and bus CO₂ targets
Global | Brussels

Parliament, Council agree on overly idealistic EU truck and bus CO₂ targets

18 Jan 2024 · Environment

The European Parliament and Council today agreed on the Commission’s CO₂ emission targets for heavy-duty vehicles.

Europe’s co-negotiators today reached a provisional political agreement on CO₂ emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).

They have agreed to maintain the unrealistic emission reduction targets proposed by the Commission for trucks and coaches: 45% emission reduction target for manufacturers by 2030, escalating to 65% as of 2035, before jumping to 90% starting 2040.

For zero-emission urban buses, the provisional agreement sets a lower intermediate 90% target for 2030.

IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian said, “The European Parliament and Council’s agreement is disappointing. Despite the industry and numerous Members of the European Parliament calling for a feasible decarbonisation path, the co-negotiators have given the green light to idealistic targets detached from available energy supply and on-the-ground business reality.”

“There are no signs, in the short and medium term, that infrastructure for such extreme zero-emission HDV targets will be ready for large scale deployment in urban areas and on major EU road networks,” she added.

The EU’s logistics sector also needs options to suit their operational needs post-2040, a 10% market share for internal combustion engines does not leave enough space for carbon-neutral fuels which could, if given the chance, be a long-term solution for sustainable HDV transport.

On a positive note, the agreement groups intercity buses with coaches instead of urban buses, subjecting them to more realistic targets. 

The co-legislators also agreed on setting an earlier review clause (2027 instead of 2028).

“We are glad to see that the review clause has been made more comprehensive by detailing elements of the review, such as the possibility of a full life cycle assessment, the possible role of a carbon correction factor, and the role of a methodology for registering HDVs exclusively running on CO₂-neutral fuels,” highlighted Raluca Marian.

The next step is approval by the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Council.