Green Mobility Forum 2018: Reducing CO2 emissions from trucks: can we do it?

Transport accounts for nearly a quarter of the EU’s emissions and, unlike other sectors, greenhouse gases continue to rise. Trucks only make up a small part of vehicles on the roads in Europe: less than 5% of total traffic. But they’ve alarmed regulators because of the disproportionate share of CO2 emissions they create.

The EU currently has no limits on the CO2 emissions produced by trucks. But under the Commission’s first ever proposal for CO2 standards, new large trucks in the European Union would have to emit 15% less CO2 by 2025 and 30% less by 2030, compared to 2019.

While some EU members and environmental groups are calling for higher reduction targets, automakers argue that the Commission is trying to transplant its car CO2 regulation onto trucks, although they are two very different vehicle types. Industry voices also claim that green mobility goals should be aligned with the technical particularities of trucks. They argue that considering the complexity of the truck market, introducing legislation suitable for all variations remains extremely challenging as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for heavy-duty vehicles.

In the long run, technological developments are expected to play a big role in reducing truck emissions. But what other solutions are out there?

EURACTIV organised this high–level forum to discuss the next steps in reducing CO2 emissions from trucks. Questions included:

  • What cost–effective measures can help combat CO2 emissions more effectively?
  • What incentives exist for European companies to invest in electric trucks?
  • What would be the role and format of a new CO2 standards legislation?
  • How to overcome barriers to be able to implement solutions such as electrification and hydrogen?
  • What are the impacts of the new trucks proposal on jobs and growth?

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