IRU welcomes agreement on CO2 emissions

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has welcomed the agreement reached by European policy-makers on truck CO2 emissions but has warned that targets must remain realistic.

Ensuring that increasingly fuel-efficient trucks are brought to the market within the shortest delay is in the interest of transport operators striving to reduce their fuel consumption, according to the IRU.

The IRU says it is pleased that the proposed 2025 target of 15 per cent has been maintained in the European Commission’s proposal for the first European truck CO2standards.

However, the IRU continues to voice concern over setting a definitive target for 2030. The Council recognised that a different methodology will be required for commercial vehicles based on the use of alternative fuels as the main decarbonisation driver for commercial vehicles and acknowledged that electrification will not be the technology of choice to reach the goal.

A 30 per cent reduction will only be feasible if based on a Well-to-Wheel approach and it is essential that the 2030 target of 30 per cent can still be reviewed in 2022, the IRU contends.

Of equal concern for the IRU is the agreement for a sales mandate for zero and low-emission vehicles (ZLEVs) of 2 per cent. Sales mandates for ZLEVs could encourage greater investment into smaller vehicles which are easier to electrify. A shift to smaller vehicles would lead to increased congestion and thereby more CO2 emissions.

The aim to reduce trucks’ CO2 emissions must ultimately respect commercial and technological viabilities and must keep in mind that the majority of truck purchasers face very low profit margins.

Targets must also be supported by an enabling legislative framework, including sufficient refuelling and recharging infrastructure.