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Jun 1, 2016

TRUCKS CO2 EMISSIONS * Europe: Setting standards to reduce they

* Europe should set binding CO2 reduction targets for trucks

-- What is Europe is doing to reduce truck CO2 emissions? Plenty of people are beginning to ask. The Paris Climate Agreement sharpened the question: freight will be responsible for 45% of CO2 from on-road transport in Europe by 2030... One answer is, not as much as it easily could be doing. The European Union has already accomplished the hardest part of the work in setting CO2 emission standards, but remains reluctant to take the final step. Unfortunately, every year of delay will make it much harder to achieve those real-world reductions that are so necessary... Europe is on the verge of formally proposing a CO2 emission / fuel consumption measurement and reporting program (similar to a labeling program) for new freight-hauling heavy trucks — in fact, the first such program in the world. (By contrast, fuel economy labels are common for passenger vehicles.) But the “labels” won't be required until perhaps 2018, and what impact they will have is uncertain. Such a consumer information initiative could create competition between manufacturers to build more fuel-efficient trucks. But a similar labeling program for cars in Europe had little effect...

The EU is on the brink of doing something real and definitive to reduce CO2 emissions from on-road freight. It has spent many years and a significant amount of money developing an advanced protocol for certifying CO2 emissions from new trucks, which will be enshrined in a regulation this year or next. Determining CO2 emission limits is much less challenging from a technical perspective than developing the certification protocol itself. Putting a CO2 performance standard for new heavy-duty vehicles in place would change the trajectory of on-road freight emissions for years to come. No other policy alternative can rival it in effectiveness... 
Brussels, Belgium - The ICCT.org, by Rachel Muncrief - 31 May 2016

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