Truckers latest targets of EU CO2 clampdown

The European Union’s concerted drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has continued apace this week, with backing for tougher CO2 emissions targets for heavy goods vehicles.

The new regulations would require new trucks to slash their emissions by 90% by 2040, but the lawmakers delayed a planned target to drive a switch to electric city buses.

EU countries’ climate ministers agreed to support a new law on the issue, which would also require new trucks sold in the EU to have 45% less CO2 emissions by 2030 and 65% by 2035, compared with 2019 levels.

However, they delayed until 2035 a proposed target for all new city buses to have zero CO2 emissions, after countries including France and Estonia said a 2030 deadline proposed by the European Commission was unrealistic.

The proposed law, which EU countries will now negotiate on with the European Parliament, is aimed at triggering investment to reduce the heavy duty vehicle sector’s CO2 footprint and expand electric vehicle production, which some manufacturers have already committed to do.

Most trucks in Europe currently run on diesel.

Italy had sought a bigger role for combustion engine vehicles running on low-carbon fuels, which could have potentially reduced the amount of electric trucks manufacturers would have to sell to comply with the target.