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Truck CO2 standards must be part of Government carbon reduction policy, says Freight on Rail

5 July 2016

In response to the Government’s Fifth Carbon Budget, Freight on Rail has called on the Department for Transport to support EU plans to introduce carbon dioxide truck standards which would bring heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) into line with cars and vans. 

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager, said: "The UK Government must not abandon its support for EU standards for carbon dioxide emissions from trucks. Carbon dioxide standards and reduction targets for HGVs are long over-due as truck manufacturers have failed to significantly improve truck efficiency of their own accord over the past 20 years.

“There is potential to improve HGV engine efficiency by around 30 per cent, which would be very beneficial to hauliers and freight users as well as helping the UK Government to meet its legally binding climate change targets.”

In the UK, despite only making up 5 per cent of road miles driven, HGVs contribute 17 per cent of surface transport’s carbon dioxide emissions.


For further information please contact Philippa Edmunds on 020 8241 9982 / 07593 976 548 or philippa.edmunds@bettertransport.org.uk


Notes to Editors

  1. Read details of the Government’s Fifth Carbon Budget here.
  2. In the UK, all other sectors reduced emissions in 2014 while transport’s share grew by 1.1 per cent, which means that transport's share of total carbon dioxide emissions went up from 25 to 28 per cent. Surface transport emissions (road and rail) account for the vast majority – 94 per cent of emissions.
  3. The European Commission is expected to bring forward a proposal for HGV standards as part of its De-carbonisation Paper later this month.
  4. Standards for cars and vans are working; overall carbon dioxide emissions from new cars sold in 2014 were 123.4g/km, a reduction of 2.6 per cent.
  5. The 2008 Climate Change Act established a target for the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. This is intended to be consistent with efforts to limit global warming to 2°C. The idea of the plan is to ensure regular progress towards this long-term target through five-yearly carbon budgets.
  6. Under the 2008 Act, the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) publishes formal advice on carbon budgets which the Government then responds to. The CCC published its advice on the Fifth Carbon Budget in November 2015, covering the period 2028-2032. The first four carbon budgets to 2027 have been set in law. The UK is currently in the second carbon budget period (2013-17). Meeting the Fourth Carbon Budget (2023-27) will require that emissions be reduced by 50 per cent on 1990 levels in 2025.
  7. Freight on Rail is a partnership between Campaign for Better Transport, the rail freight industry and transport trade unions.