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At 27% of total EU emissions, transport is Europe’s biggest climate problem and heavy-duty vehicles account for 26% of road transport CO2. In the letter the companies and associations say they are aware of their responsibilities, but that policymakers also need to create the right framework conditions to help them achieve their targets and truck fuel efficiency standards are one of the most effective ways of doing this.
Unilever's president of Europe, Hanneke Faber, said: “At Unilever we are making sure that our transport and distribution systems are as green as possible. Ambitious emissions standards are crucial to encourage innovation and accelerate the deployment of new zero emissions technologies – good for business, good for citizens and good for the planet.”
There should also be an ambitious mandatory sales target for zero emission trucks, the companies and associations said. Transport needs to reduce its emissions to zero by 2050 to meet the targets of the Paris agreement and while the technology for zero emission trucks is there, supply is limited and only available at high costs. Therefore the upcoming proposal on truck fuel efficiency standards – expected to be published on 16 May – should also ensure truck manufacturers sell a minimum share of zero emission trucks.
CEO of transport and logistics group Geodis, Marie-Christine Lombard, said: “Geodis takes its responsibility to contribute to the decarbonisation of transport seriously and is engaged in a number of actions aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, both within Geodis and with its partners and suppliers. We support ambitious European standards that accelerate decarbonisation through innovation and with an approach that is fair to the whole market.”
Cleaner trucks officer at sustainable transport NGO Transport & Environment, Stef Cornelis, said: “An unprecedented coalition of global brands, SMEs and truckers is telling the EU they want stringent CO2 standards and strong, mandatory sales targets for zero emissions lorries. President Juncker should seize this opportunity to start decarbonising trucks.”
Alongside the companies mentioned above, the signatories also include Alstom, DB Schenker, Philips Lighting and supermarket group Colruyt in addition to a number of other firms. The national transport associations represent truckers in the Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, Portugal and Belgium.
Notes to editors:
 “I want Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change.”
Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the Union speech, 13 September 2017.
 The letter is signed by: Carrefour, IKEA*, Unilever, Heineken, Nestle, Geodis, Alstom, Dia, Eroski, Philips Lighting, Tchibo, DB Schenker, Colruyt Group, Aslog, Vos Logistics, Meyer & Meyer, Ziegler, Barry Callebaut, Live Nation, Kingfisher, Bartkowiak, Bode Transport & Logistik, BYD, Große Vehne, Polarbröd, Smart Freight Centre, NLV Klub, Cervera, Max Burgers, Febetra, Hermes, TLN, MKFE, Antram, and Astic.
* Inter IKEA Group (all companies ultimately owned by Inter IKEA Holding B.V.) and INGKA Group (all companies ultimately owned by INGKA Holding B.V.)