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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

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

  Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, it’s a pleasure to be here today for the final debate on the legislation setting the first ever CO2 emission standards for new heavy—duty vehicles.

The agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council is a very important achievement and it marks the completion of a comprehensive legislative framework on climate and clean energy for 2030. A swift agreement on this regulation has been possible thanks to the constructive efforts and spirit of compromise of the negotiators from both institutions. I would like very especially to thank the rapporteur, Mr Eickhout, and all the shadow rapporteurs and congratulate them on the very good result achieved in such a short time-frame.

The agreement reached is both ambitious and balanced. Its most important elements are that for new heavy—duty vehicles the European Union fleet-wide average CO2 emissions will have to be 15% lower in 2025 and 30% lower in 2030, compared to the reference period, which covers July 2019 to June 2020. The targets cover the largest vehicles, which account for about 17% of the total CO2 emissions of the heavy—duty sector, and a technology-neutral incentive system will stimulate manufacturers to deploy zero and low—emission vehicles in the next decade, starting in 2019 with super credits and followed by a benchmark system from 2025 onwards. A strong governance system will make sure that the emission reductions occur in reality and not only on paper. A comprehensive review in 2022 will evaluate the effectiveness of the legislation.

This new legislation completes the picture required to put the road transport sector on a clear pathway towards clean mobility and a broader transition to a climate—neutral economy. Let me highlight its main benefits. Without action, emissions from heavy—duty vehicles would represent almost 25% of road transport emissions, which are set to increase by almost 10% by 2030 compared to 2010. With the targets agreed and with the post—2020 targets for cars and vans, greenhouse gas emissions from road transport will be reduced by 24% by 2030 compared to 2005. This will help Member States to reach the binding targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation and the European Union to deliver its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Transport operators will benefit from fuel savings of up to EUR 25 000 in the first five years of use of a new truck bought in 2025 and around EUR 60 000 for a new truck bought in 2030. This will help in particular 600 000 small and medium—sized enterprises that operate in the European Union freight transport sector and employ almost three million people.

The legislation will also contribute to modernising the European Union economy, and especially the automotive sector, to channel investments and strengthen innovation for clean-vehicles technologies. In particular, the incentive system for zero and low—emission heavy—duty vehicles will reward the frontrunners in developing and deploying such innovative vehicles. The legislation also provides a signal for investors in refuelling and recharging infrastructure so that the enabling conditions for the deployment of zero and low—emission vehicles are created. Finally, it is also projected to have positive impacts on economic growth and employment and to lower European Union oil imports.

Honourable Members, let me conclude by inviting you to support this ambitious and balanced agreement when voting tomorrow. This new legislation will put Europe on track towards the necessary transition towards clean mobility. I would also take the opportunity to inform the Members of this House that the Commission has tabled two statements to accompany its full support for the overall agreement. They concern the continuous development of the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) simulation tool and the transposition of a specific provision related to the maximum authorised weight of zero—emission heavy—duty vehicles. Once again, I thank all honourable Members for their support.

Commission statements

(in writing)

"Commission statement on Article 20 - amendment to Directive 96/53/EC with regard to the maximum authorised weight of alternatively fuelled or zero emission heavy-duty vehicles

The Commission notes the agreement of the co-legislators relating to Article 20 of this Regulation, which amends Directive 96/53/EC without setting an explicit time limit for its transposition.

The Commission also notes that other provisions of Directive 96/53/EC are being modified by the Decision [2018/0130(COD)], which provides for an application of those new provisions as of 1 September 2020.

Given the situation, the Commission calls upon Member States to carry out as soon as possible and at the latest by the same date, i.e. 1 September 2020, any necessary adaptation of their national legislation to Article 20 of the present Regulation and to inform the Commission thereof in accordance with Article 11 of Directive 96/53/EC. This would obviate any need for a further legislative proposal by the Commission on this issue."

Last updated: 9 July 2019Legal notice