EU aims to ‘accelerate’ low emission vehicle uptake

The European Commission has today (8 November) published proposals for a reduction of emissions in passenger cars and vans, aimed at ‘accelerating’ the transition to low and zero emission vans.

Known as the ‘Clean Mobility Package’ the proposals include measures aimed at meeting the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement for a 40% reduction in CO2.

The EU has adopted a Clean Mobility Package

This includes a target for new cars and vans to have average CO2 emissions 30% lower in 2030, compared to 2021. Whilst not specifically detailing targets related to air pollution, the package would likely encourage investment in vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions.

The package includes CO2 standards to help manufacturers to embrace innovation and supply low-emission vehicles to the market, including targets to ‘push’ the transition from conventional combustion-engine vehicles to “clean” ones.

Also agreed is a Clean Vehicles Directive to promote clean mobility solutions in public procurement tenders alongside an action plan for the trans-European deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure.

‘Leader’

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker outlined in the State of the European Union speech in September: “I want Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change. Last year, we set the global rules of the game with the Paris Agreement ratified here, in this very House. Set against the collapse of ambition in the United States, Europe must ensure we make our planet great again. It is the shared heritage of all of humanity.”

Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc added: “The Commission is taking unprecedented action in response to an ever growing challenge: reconciling the mobility needs of Europeans with the protection of their health and our planet.

“All dimensions of the challenge are being addressed. We are promoting cleaner vehicles, making alternative energy more accessible and improving the organisation of our transport system. This will keep Europe and Europeans on the move in a cleaner way.”

Adoption of the proposals by the Commission means that they will now be considered by MEPs and ministers from each of the EU member states before they can be adopted formally into EU legislation. This process can take several years, and given the UK’s impeding exit from the European Union, it is likely that the Clean Vehicles Package will be adopted into UK law.