Reduction of CO2 from road transport

Date: 22, October 2016
The Commission is proposing reductions in CO2 from road transport of up to 40% in the Nordic countries.

20 July, 2016 the European Commission (EC) presented the new legislative proposal for a Regulation on binding greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States, for the period 2021-2030. These emission targets cover the sectors of the economy that are not part of the scope of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which is transport, agricultural, building and waste management. These accounts for almost 60% of the total EU emissions.

The proposal from the EC follows up on the Effort Sharing decision from 2009, which established Member State targets in the non-ETS sector between 2012 and 2020. The proposal states this sector must reduce emission with 30% within the EU by 2030 compared to 2005 as contribution to the overall target. Each Member State got individual targets for cuts which vary from 0% to 40%.

Norway as non EU member wishes to take part of the effort sharing regulation going forward and has asked the EU for the possibility to participate. The Commission has been positive towards the wish and will now calculate the target number for Norway.

The Effort Sharing proposal is now at the Parliament and the Council for negotiations and adoption. This means that there might be some changes before the final text is decided upon, including for the individual targets. After the EP and the Council has decided for the EU it will Norway’s turn to negotiate and establish a Norwegian target. This means it will take longer time for Norway to have it in order than the rest of the EU. However, after the implementation Norway will be treated on the same premises as the Member States.

Because all these target numbers are based on calculations including for instance the BNP of the countries it is still likely that the target will be 40% for Norway and Sweden, and 39% for Denmark and Finland.

The Council of Ministers of Environment held the first public debate on the proposal on October 17. The Ministers welcomed the proposal, but acknowledge that there will be negotiations to make it balanced and fair for all Member States. The Nordic countries all stated that the target numbers are highly ambitious. The overall opinion of the Members States was that it is welcomed, but highly ambitious and the Member States will need to work together. The European Parliament has not yet started looking at the proposal.

 The proposal has also been the subject for a lot of debates, meetings and discussion in the transport industry since the EC launched the proposal. Focus has been on how road transport can move towards a greener sector. The sector needs sustainable and long term solutions to be able to meet the target set for 2030. Issues has been how alternative fuels can become the new alternative for oil and diesel with the help of innovation, and on the vehicle of the future with focus on how new technology can make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions.

Focus has also been on how the authorities need to work with innovation, technology and the experts in the sector to find solutions of the problem. One solution might not be enough to tackle the problem, therefore all solutions and possibilities should be explored.