The European Parliament has greenlit regulations aimed at curbing pollution from trucks and buses, with a focus on improving air quality in line with the goals of the Green Deal and REPowerEU.
On Tuesday, the Parliament endorsed its negotiating position with 445 votes in favor, 152 against, and 30 abstentions.
MEPs are pushing for ambitious targets for CO2 reduction for medium and heavy-duty trucks, including professional vehicles such as garbage trucks, dump trucks, and concrete mixers.
The proposed targets are 45% for the period 2030-2034, 65% for 2035-2039, and 90% from 2040 onwards.
They support the Commission’s proposal to allow only the registration of new zero-emission urban buses from 2030 and suggest a temporary exemption (until 2035) for urban buses powered by biomethane, under strict conditions.
Bas Eickhout (Greens/ALE, Netherlands) stated, “The transition to zero-emission trucks and buses is not only crucial for meeting our climate goals but also a vital element for cleaner air in our cities.”
“We are providing clarity to one of Europe’s major manufacturing industries, in addition to incentivizing investment in electrification and hydrogen. We build upon the Commission’s proposal and adjust various targets and thresholds to real-world circumstances, as the transition is progressing faster than expected,” he added.
Negotiations with EU governments, which have already set their own position, must now commence to finalize the legislation.
On February 14, 2023, the Commission proposed legislation to establish CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles from 2030, aiming to contribute to the EU’s climate neutrality goal by 2050 and reduce the demand for imported fossil fuels.
Heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks, urban buses, and long-distance buses, account for over 25% of the EU’s road transport greenhouse gas emissions, representing more than 6% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
By adopting this report, the Parliament responds to citizens’ expectations to combat pollution, promote the purchase of electric vehicles, and invest in the development of other non-polluting technologies, as expressed in the proposals 2, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe.