Monday, 21 may 2018 | Redacción CEU
When facing thebattle against climate change in Europe, the glances have always been directed towards cars. This selective attention is already part of the past. For the first time, the European Commission places heavy-duty vehicles in the spotlight. In particular, Brussels proposes to limit the carbon dioxide emissions of these vehicles by 15% in 2025 in relation to the figures of 2019, in order to reach the 30% in 2030. A purpose for eleven years on the continent that environmentalists consider insufficient and that the sector qualifies as too demanding, strict or aggressive.
The 75% of heavy-duty vehicles in the continent are trucks and represent the 5% of vehicles that travel through European roads. Even so, it is considered that they are responsible for the 22% of the total global emissions. These figures may have influenced the decision of the European Commission to launch a new proposal aimed at achieving a future more aligned with the objectives to reach in The Paris Agreement.
The initiative proposed by the EC will affect heavy-duty vehicles and, as of 2022, the provision will be extended to buses, lighter trucks and trailers. Brussels estimates that thanks to this measure, which is part of the third and last Mobility Package of the EU Executive, could reduce 54 million tons of carbon dioxide between 2020 and 2030. Although this commission leaves aside factors like the economic outlay involved in this transit, it has highlighted the long-term savings that can lead to lower consumption of more efficient trucks and the creation of approximately 25,000 new jobs for 2025 that can entail adapting to the new standards.
The proposal for consideration
Although Europe tends to be at the forefront of environmental legislation, the regulation of heavy vehicles reached countries like the USA, China, Canada or Japan before. However, this European proposal is equivalent to the one promoted by the EC itself for new cars and vans, which also set a reduction of 15% in 2025 and 30% in 2030. <<All sectors have to comply with the commitments of the Paris Agreement, including heavy vehicles like trucks, buses or vans>>, said the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete in a statement.
This European proposal does not satisfy environmental organizations anyway, and they consider it insufficient. Nor is it welcomed by the automotive sector with enthusiasm. The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), where there are seven of the largest truck manufacturers in the Old Continent, considers that this proposal is "too aggressive". The automobile employers point out that the truck sector has a lower capacity to adapt than the car sector and that this is a very ambitious goal considering that the vehicles that will be sold in 2025 are being manufactured at this time. This seems to be the main feeling, because the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport (CETM) also pronounced themselves in the same direction.
It should be noted that the Mobility Package presented by the European Commission does not only include this proposal, although it is partially eclipsed by it. It also presents an Action Plan for Batteries with the aim of promoting the improvement of competitiveness in mass production and also encouraging the electric vehicles and includes measures aimed at promoting the digitalization of transport, creating a legal framework adapted to autonomous vehicles, increasing the safety on the road and improving infrastructures.