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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (debate)

  Bas Eickhout, Rapporteur. – Madam President, I would like to thank my colleagues for all their interest in CO2 and trucks. That should also be because this is the final climate legislation that we are adopting this term so this means that, after this, we will have to have a lot of improvements for the next term. But, on this one, we can celebrate this because it is the first time that the European Union is going to regulate CO2 emissions from heavy—duty vehicles.

It was – as it was with the CO2 and cars legislation – a tough fight with a lot of resistance, but I think we managed, in good cooperation with the different shadow rapporteurs and all the different groups, whom I would like to thank for their contributions. We did not always agree, but I think, in the end, we have come to a deal which everyone can support and feel that we are touching the importance of this file, which is putting a CO2 reduction of 15% in place for 2025 and, by 2030, a binding target of 30%, and especially that long—term prospects will give a very clear signal to the car manufacturers and the truck manufacturers that they will need to invest in new technologies.

We also managed to close all the loopholes, mainly around the super credits, and shift that to a 2% benchmark of zero-emission vehicles, which also gives a clear signal to the manufacturers that they will not be able to stay only improving current combustion engine technologies, but that they also need to invest in new technologies for the future, which can be zero—emission, e—mobility and also hydrogen. That is still open, but this is a clear signal now to the manufacturers that this is the direction to go in.

As I said, it was a hard fight. Clearly, from a Green perspective, we would have loved to see higher targets on the table, but I think what is very important is that now manufacturers have clarity for the longer term so that they know where their investments need to go in order to make sure that the transport sector is also cleaning up and working towards decarbonisation. Because when people ask you about heavy—duty vehicles and how important it is, I would just remind you that it is 6% of the total European emissions, and of the road transport emissions, it is even 25%.

So we are talking about a very important category, which is, on top of that, even increasing, whereas we know that, by 2050, we should have decarbonised our economy. That’s why it is so important to put this legislation in place. We will have reviews in place by 2022 and I can promise you that, by then, we probably will look at the targets that we agreed upon, tomorrow, and we will conclude that we can do more because of the signals we gave to the manufacturers and the investments that will go into zero-emission vehicles so that the market is also finally changing and we get new jobs and job creation also within the European Union.

Because on heavy—duty vehicles it was really high time that, as Europe, we started to regulate this because countries like the United States, Japan and Canada already regulated that before us. So we are catching up and making sure that innovation and these new technologies will be done within Europe, creating the jobs within Europe and, at the same time, delivering a decarbonisation of our transport sector, which is so badly needed if we want to achieve the Paris Agreement with that.

I think that is a good achievement and, once again, I would like to thank all the shadows and also the Commission and the Council – which is not there – for their close cooperation in getting this deal done, and I look forward to the vote tomorrow.

Last updated: 9 July 2019Legal notice