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  • MEPs ramp up ambition of EU’s first ever truck CO2 standards

    MEPs have sent a signal to EU governments that the bloc’s first ever truck CO2 standards need to be more ambitious than those proposed by the European Commission. The European Parliament’s environment committee today voted for a 20% reduction in truck CO2 emissions in 2025, and 35% in 2030. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the increased ambition in emissions reduction targets and a zero-emission truck sales target with teeth are a very positive decision that will cut climate emissions, make air in cities cleaner and slash fuel bills for businesses.

    The MEPs’ higher ambition for the 2025 target will deliver an additional €14,000 in fuel savings per new truck in its first five years compared to the Commission’s proposed 15% reduction.[1] Truckmakers would also have to meet a target for zero-emission trucks of 5% of sales in 2025. Crucially, those manufacturers falling short of the target would need to achieve higher fuel efficiency on the diesel trucks they sell, the MEPs said, while those exceeding it would have less stringent CO2 reduction targets.

    Stef Cornelis, cleaner trucks officer at T&E, said: “MEPs are bringing us closer to what’s needed to hit the EU’s own climate goals and deliver the fuel savings demanded by hauliers and businesses such as Nestlé, Heineken, DB Schenker and IKEA. The sales target will ensure that a market for zero-emission trucks develops, enabling companies to meet their commitments to clean deliveries in cities by 2025.”

    Bart Vandewaetere, head of corporate communications and government relations for Nestlé zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa, said: “We welcome this vote of the environment committee setting up ambitious targets for truck CO2 emissions. Since 2014, we have already reduced CO2 emissions within our European transport operations by 15% per tonne of product. Having more fuel-efficient trucks will help us to further accelerate our reduction in CO2 emissions across transport and distribution. This is going in the direction we want to take as a business to have close to zero environmental impact by 2030.”

    The MEPs also want the EU to adopt an annual testing scheme and on-road tests of vehicles while they are in use. These will check the fuel efficiency data provided by truckmakers – to ensure they don’t cheat in testing procedures.

    Stef Cornelis concluded: “On-road tests will deliver transparency and ensure greater competition among manufacturers. Hauliers will also get a true picture of how efficient the trucks they buy are. Now the full parliament needs to back this progressive step and send a very clear signal to national environment ministers on what’s needed to cut CO2 emissions from trucks, reduce oil imports, and cut costs for business.”

    Trucks are not yet subject to fuel efficiency standards – even though they account for 22% of vehicle emissions while making up less than 5% of the vehicles on the road. Meanwhile, European hauliers spend on average €32,000 a year per truck on fuel. While the US, Japan, China and Canada have CO2 limits in place, the fuel efficiency of trucks in Europe improved little for the past 20 years while all EU truckmakers engaged in a price fixing cartel.

    Note to editors:

    [1] European Commission impact assessment, table 15. With a 20% emissions reduction, the owner of a new truck saves €37,589 in the first five years, but approx €14,000 less (€23,438) if the emissions reduction is 15%.