Germany pushes back against more ambitious CO2 limits for trucks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany is pushing back against European Union countries that want more ambitious emission limits for trucks, saying carbon dioxide cuts should not go beyond 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030, according to EU documents.

EU member states have begun talks to reach a compromise on the first ever emissions curbs on heavy-duty vehicles, which account for almost one quarter of the bloc’s transport-related emissions.

The final targets will still need to be negotiated with EU lawmakers, who voted earlier this month for tougher targets than those proposed by the EU executive in May.

Germany, whose auto industry is a major driver of its economy, says the new limits should not go beyond the European Commission’s proposal, according to a document setting out Berlin’s position dated Nov. 20.

The EU currently has no limits on the CO2 produced by trucks.

The Netherlands, the EU’s second-biggest manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles, wants a higher reduction in greenhouse gases from trucks to combat global warming.

A Dutch position paper, seen by Reuters, calls for a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from trucks by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

France will also push for more ambitious targets than what was proposed by the European Commission in May, though has not yet settled on concrete limits, an EU official said.

Many other member states are still shaping their positions due to be discussed by EU environment minister on December 20.

Extreme temperatures across the northern hemisphere this summer have intensified concerns that more needs to be done more quickly to combat climate change, leading some countries to call for emissions to be cut at a faster rate than planned.

The European Parliament has backed a CO2 reduction target of 20 percent by 2025 and 35 percent by 2030, despite warnings from the truck industry that the higher reductions could cost jobs and cut growth.

If a common position is reached among EU governments in December, negotiations between the EU’s three lawmaking institutions on the final targets would start early next year.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel and Daphne Psaledakis; Additional reporting by Markus Wacket in Berlin. Editing by Jane Merriman