EU countries agree to 30 percent cut in truck CO2 emissions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ministers from European Union countries agreed on Thursday to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from trucks and buses by 30 percent by 2030, albeit with the potential to review this in 2022, the EU’s Austrian presidency said.

FILE PHOTO: A car produces smoke from its exhaust as it pulls away in Guernica October 29,2007. REUTERS/Vincent West

Environment ministers struck the deal, balancing the interests of Germany and the continent’s largest auto sector with other countries, such as Sweden, which pushed for a sharper cut.

The countries, collectively known as the Council, will still have to negotiate next year with the European Parliament, which envisages a tougher 2030 target of a 35 percent cut.

The government representatives also agreed on Thursday to an interim target of a 15 percent reduction by 2025, relative to 2019 levels. The parliament is pushing for 20 percent.

The EU currently has no limits on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, unlike other countries such as the United States, China, Japan and Canada. Trucks account for almost one quarter of the bloc’s transport-related emissions.

Curbs on the transport sector, the only one in which emissions are still rising, aim to help the bloc meet its overall goal of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate accord.

The EU agreed on Monday on targets for cutting emissions from cars and vans.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has lobbied for far lower reduction targets for trucks of 7 percent by 2025 and 16 percent by 2030.

ACEA has said that the potential for electrifying truck fleets is far lower than for cars and that it would only really work for short trips within cities, but not for long-haul transit.

Volkswagen's (VW) VOWG_p.DE truck brand MAN has warned the new CO2 limits could cost tens of thousands of jobs.

Germany is home to the largest truck producer, Daimler. Other manufacturers in Europe include Volvo, Italy-based Iveco, Paccar and Scania, also part of Volkswagen.

Reporting by Peter Maushagen and Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Francesco Guarascio and Elaine Hardcastle