Belgium postpones EU vote on truck emissions as Germany imperils majority

(EurActiv, 7 Feb 2024) Belgium has postponed a vote by EU ambassadors on new emission standards for trucks – initially planned for Wednesday (7 February) – to Friday, after Germany withdrew its previous support for the law, leaving the majority unclear.

The EU’s new CO2 standards for trucks would see average tailpipe emissions of new trucks being reduced by 90% by 2040, meaning that manufacturers would need to predominantly sell electric and hydrogen trucks by that date.

On Tuesday, Euractiv was the first to report that the German government was surprisingly unable to agree to support the deal found between EU countries and the European Parliament in January, as the liberal Transport Ministry withdrew its support.

Without Germany, the majority for the law is in doubt, as some smaller countries such as Hungary or Slovakia already signalled opposition to the law, and Italian support is unclear as its main request for a mechanism to account for alternative fuels was not included.

“This will not be voted on today in Coreper,” German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit told journalists on Wednesday, in reference to the conference of EU ambassadors of the 27 member states.

“The vote has been postponed until Friday,” he said, adding that, “I can let you know on Friday what the German position will be.”

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EurActiv, 7 Feb 2024: Belgium postpones EU vote on truck emissions as Germany imperils majority