EU’s new emission limits for trucks are not enough - op-ed
The EU’s first-ever emission standards for trucks and buses, announced this week, are not enough for real climate protection, writes Bernhard Pötter in a commentary for the daily newspaper taz. It’s good the EU is finally addressing carbon emissions from heavy vehicles, Pötter writes, because unlike other countries, such as the US and Japan, Europe previously did not regulate those emissions. But the new regulations don’t go far enough because they only impose efficiency standards on new vehicles instead of setting an overall limit on emissions, according to Pötter.
Meanwhile, trends in freight transport are headed in the wrong direction, with more being transported by truck, Pötter writes. Vehicles may become more efficient, but if driving increases, net emissions will fall too slowly. Real climate action would require an absolute upper limit on carbon emissions from heavy vehicles, Pötter writes.
The new regulations come as Germany struggles to bring down emissions in its freight and transport sectors. The country has launched a commission on the future of mobility, which is to recommend ways to reduce emissions from transportation. But early proposals from the commission have sparked controversy, and the federal transport minister, whose ministry appointed the commission, has dismissed its proposals for speed limits and fuel taxes.