EU Parliament adopts air pollution rules for trucks and buses

EU Parliament adopts air pollution rules for trucks and buses

The European Parliament has approved new regulations to reduce air pollution from trucks and buses. The Parliament's negotiating position, adopted with 445 votes in favor, 152 against, and 30 abstentions, includes strong CO2 emissions reduction targets for medium and heavy trucks, vocational vehicles, and buses. 

The targets are set at 45% for 2030-2034, 65% for 2035-2039, and 90% from 2040 onwards. Additionally, the Parliament agreed to allow the registration of only zero-emission new urban buses from 2030, with a temporary exemption until 2035 for urban buses fueled by biomethane under strict conditions. The legislation aims to align with the EU's objective for climate neutrality by 2050 and reduce the demand for imported fossil fuels.

The European Parliament's move is a response to citizens' expectations to address pollution and promote the purchase of electric vehicles and investments in non-polluting technologies. The legislation also aims to harmonise air quality indices across the EU and ensure that air quality is not harmful to human health, natural ecosystems, and biodiversity. The Parliament is now prepared to engage in discussions with EU governments to finalise the legislation.

The European Parliament's position is a significant step towards tackling air pollution across the continent. It not only endorses the European Commission's legislative proposal but also seeks full alignment with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, aiming to ensure that all EU citizens breathe healthy air by 2035. The Parliament's position also includes stronger limit values on air pollution levels and suggests widening the scope of access to justice for citizens affected by air pollution, as well as supporting local authorities in strengthening their air quality provisions.