In a move likely to benefit LNG use in land transport, the European Union (EU) has taken its first steps towards

cutting CO 2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles, it said

February 19. The Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU has provisionally agreed with the European Parliament new rules that now need endorsement by member states.

Between 2025 and 2029, new trucks are to emit on

average 15% less CO 2 compared with this year’s emis-

sion levels. From 2030 onwards, they will be required

to emit on average 30% less CO 2 . Those targets are

binding, and truck manufacturers that do not comply will have to pay a financial penalty in the form of an excess emissions premium.

n addition to setting binding targets, the co-legisla- tors agreed to strengthen the incentive system for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEVs) in the heavy-duty sector compared with what was proposed by the Euro- pean Commission. Buses and coaches were excluded from the ZLEV system because they can be rewarded through other schemes.

The co-legislators also agreed specific measures which will ensure the availability of robust and reliable data. Data will be obtained through on-board devices which monitor the actual fuel and energy consumption of heavy-duty vehicles. Already last year, the Council adopted a regulation which provides the technical basis

for the new rules by setting out in detail how CO 2 emis-

sions will need to be monitored and reported.

CO 2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles including

lorries, buses and coaches, represent around 6% of

total CO 2 emissions in the EU and 27% of total road transport CO 2 emissions, the council said. Using

methane and its even cleaner relative biomethane instead of diesel will lower emissions and almost eliminate the more harmful particulates, although the statement does not recommend any specific alterna- tives to diesel.