European Parliament agrees to cut CO2 emissions from trucks by 35 percent by 2030

“The Parliament is sending a clear sign that it is serious about reducing CO2 emissions in the transportation sector,” said Bas Eickhout

MEPs backed a motion to cut CO2 emissions by at least 35 percent by 2030.

During Wednesday’s session, the MPs agreed on the need to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from trucks. If approved, this would constitute the first limit imposed on heavy-duty vehicles to combat climate change.

“We must take action to address growing CO2 emissions from heavy vehicles. Without this, they would account for 25 percent of emissions in the transportation sector,” the European Commissioner for Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete stated at the Parliament.

The CO2 emissions cut was approved by the EU Parliament with 373 to 285 votes. If implemented, this measure would establish stricter emissions reduction goals than the 30 percent cut established by the European Commission for 2030.

“The Parliament is sending a clear signal that it’s serious on reducing CO2 emissions,” said Bas Eickhout, a Green lawmaker responsible for seeing the bill through the European Parliament.

For this measure to be passed, all 28 governments in the block must agree on the final law. To this end, the countries’ Ministers of the Environment will meet on December 20. However, negotiations could be difficult due to resistance from nations with major players in the automotive industry, such as Germany.

Cutting CO2 emissions from trucks

The goals established by the European Parliament would be the first parameters to reduce CO2 emissions from trucks in the European Union. So far, these vehicles have not seen any sort of restriction, even though they account for nearly a quarter of the emissions in the transportation sector.

Other types of vehicles have seen a different scenario. The EU has prompted governments in the block to take action and limit emissions from less efficient cars.

In Spain, passenger vehicles must comply with homologation standards that establish restrictions in accordance with the engine’s efficiency and pollution levels.

The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is used to determine the amount of emissions produced by a car and whether it is authorized to transit certain roads.

The drivers that fail to adapt to these demands will have to pay registration fees. There is concern that these policies could negatively affect the industry and, with it, thousands of jobs in Europe.

Some majors in the industry have made proposals like modifying the components in older vehicles in order to reduce their emissions and adapt them to the new regulations. However, the most effective measure to avoid a possible fine is switching to electric cars, which have zero emissions. Other alternatives include newer more efficient vehicles and hybrid cars. Nonetheless, hybrids could no longer be an option in the near future.

The dawn of combustion vehicles

The goal to reduce CO2 emissions from trucks is not the only factor causing alarm in the European motor industry. Several European countries are considering banning internal combustion cars, meaning diesel, gasoline and even hybrid vehicles.

Reports came out this week that the Spanish government will propose to restrict these vehicles by 2040, as part of the draft Climate Change law that is still under development.

The news caused an immediate reaction as political leaders rejected President Pedro Sanchez’s plan. One of the detractors was Pablo Casado, president of the Popular Party (PP), who argued that a measure of this magnitude would generate “more legal uncertainty in the automobile sector and endanger more than 200,000 jobs.”

The new law that Sanchez intends to establish must be passed by the Parliament, where Sanchez has a very limited support; thus, there is a slim chance that it will be approved.

Meanwhile, other nations that did pass the motion to ban conventional vehicles include France, the UK, which has set the date for 2040, Scotland (2032), and Denmark (2030).

For more information, check Energía16

See also: Iberdrola and IKEA sign deal to install 50 EV charging stations

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