After fraught discussions, EU countries reach deal on truck CO2 standards
(EurActiv, 17 Oct 2023) EU countries reached a common position on draft rules to reduce the carbon footprint of heavy-duty vehicles on Monday (16 October), following contentious discussions centred on whether the carbon saved by alternative fuels in the EU’s fuel mix should count towards fleet CO2 targets.
Negotiations stretched long into the evening at the Environment Council meeting in Luxembourg as the Spanish Presidency of the EU attempted to reconcile the diverse positions held by member states.
“Citizens deserve to live in a greener and healthier environment, and we are now a step closer towards this objective,” said Spanish minister Teresa Ribera Rodríguez. “At the same time, we are ensuring the industry’s competitiveness by clarifying the roadmap for new investments.”
In its position, the Council of the EU backed the CO2 reduction targets proposed by the European Commission: a 45% reduction by 2030, followed by 65% in 2035 and 90% in 2040.
However, member states disagreed on the starting date for rules mandating zero-emission buses in urban areas, with some, such as Denmark and Portugal, supporting the Commission’s 2030 proposal, while others, including France, Czechia and Romania, argued 2035 is more realistic.