EU reaches provisional deal to limit truck emissions

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union (EU) approved unprecedented pollution limits on new trucks yesterday, though critics complained they did not go far enough because of pressure from Germany.

The European Parliament and the European Council, which represents the 28 member states, struck the provisional agreement after months of tough negotiation.

The limits are intended as a key building block of the EU’s efforts to achieve its Paris climate deal commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The deal imposes targets on CO2 emissions for heavy-duty vehicles at minus 15 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030 compared to 2019.

The deal must still be formally approved by the European Council and European lawmakers ahead of European parliamentary elections in May. The EU’s powerful auto lobby said these targets are “highly demanding” and depended on governments installing the necessary equipment.

EU member states must “urgently step up their efforts to roll-out the infrastructure required for charging and refuelling the alternatively-powered trucks,” said ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert.

These “will need to be sold en masse if these targets are to be met,” he added. Greens MEP Karima Delli, who took part in the negotiations, hailed the agreement but insisted that it could have been more ambitious if not for the influence of powerful member states.

“Unfortunately… certain governments still place the interests of their industry ahead of those of their people,” she said.

“Germany and some central European member states, in particular, have blocked more ambitious targets,” Delli added.