EU lawmakers to back 35 percent CO2 cut for trucks by 2030: sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU lawmakers are expected to back a 35 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from new trucks by 2030, EU sources said ahead of a vote on Thursday over new rules that seek to fight global warming without harming industry.

FILE PHOTO: Cars and trucks are stuck in a traffic jam near Irschenberg, Germany, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

The target will be the first CO2 standard for trucks in the EU, which currently has no limits on what accounts for almost one quarter of the bloc’s transport-related emissions.

The vote in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee would set tougher climate targets than those proposed by the EU executive in May. It had called for a 30 percent CO2 cut by 2030.

The sources said the 35 percent target is backed by a majority of lawmakers in the committee, which tends to push for more ambitious climate legislation than the assembly as a whole.

However, lawmakers remained divided over how tough an interim 2025 target should be ahead of Thursday’s vote.

In a clash between worries over climate and competitiveness, left-leaning parties have banded together to push a more ambitious target of a 20 percent reduction by 2025 than what has been proposed by the bloc’s executive.

But the European People’s Party (EPP), the biggest party in the chamber, favors the European Commission’s original proposal of 15 percent by 2025.

“The big battle will be between what is going to be adopted for 2025,” said Bas Eickhout, the Green lawmaker in charge of seeing the proposal through Parliament.

The parliament groups will also face off over whether to require manufacturers to produce a certain amount of zero and low-emission vehicles, or to stick with a credit system as proposed by the EPP and Commission proposals.

A plenary session of parliament must still approve the assembly’s position in order to enter what would be tough talks with the bloc’s 28 governments on a final law, as nations with big automotive industries fear stricter rules could cost growth and jobs.

But Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) admission to U.S. regulators in 2015 that it had masked tailpipe exhaust using software in as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide has galvanized EU regulators into tougher regulation.

Manufacturers have warned stricter rules – part of the bloc’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 – could slash into profits.

Earlier this month European Union nations agreed to seek a 35 percent cut in car emissions by 2030.

The vote comes following Sweden’s Volvo warning on Tuesday that some of its truck and bus engines could be exceeding limits for nitrogen oxide emissions as an emissions control component it uses was degrading more quickly than expected, sending its shares lower.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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