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Stop ignoring sky high CO2 emissions from lorries, say campaigners

As part of National Lorry Week (26 to 31 October) Campaign for Better Transport is calling for the introduction of mandatory carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements and standards for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

Currently there are no CO2 measurements or standards for HGVs across Europe, even though lorries contribute 22 per cent of the UK’s road CO2 emissions while making up only 5 per cent of miles driven.  The transport charity is urging the UK Government to get behind European proposals to measure emissions in a transparent and robust way and to make this information available to hauliers, so they can make informed decisions when purchasing new vehicles.

Philippa Edmunds, from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Carbon dioxide standards for lorries are long overdue as manufacturers have failed to significantly improve lorry efficiency over the past 20 years. Introducing new measurements and standards makes sense as it can help the Government meet its legally binding climate change targets as well as reducing fuel costs for road hauliers.

“Just because calculating truck CO2 emissions is more complicated than for cars or vans because of different weights of cargoes, this is not an excuse for doing nothing. The first step is to see proper measurement of CO2 emissions and then to see reduction targets for lorries, just like cars and vans.”


Notes to editors

1. Carbon dioxide emissions from Committee on Climate Change: Surface transport CO2 emissions by mode 2013

2. Annual Road Traffic Estimates – Great Britain 2013

3. The European Commission has developing software called VECTO to provide standards. The UK Government has now come out calling for truck CO2 standards. However, the truck manufacturers are resisting measures to make this data available to third parties, such a haulage operators, on confidentiality grounds. Operators want to be able to calculate fuel costs and emissions dependent on different cargoes before deciding which trucks to purchase. According to the European Commission lorries could be around 35% more fuel efficient using existing technology, without increasing operating costs for hauliers: Source 2014 Heavy duty vehicles strategy for reducing HeavyDuty Vehicles fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. SWD (2014) 159 final P3 section 2.2 Technology can reduce HDV fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Europe needs to push ahead with mandatory truck CO2 standards like Japan and the US otherwise it will get left behind. In June 2015 US Environmental |Protection Agency proposed a new 24 per cent target for improvement in truck fuel economy by 2027 on top of limits introduced in 2011.

4. Lorry efficiency statistics available from Department for Transport: road freight statistics table FRS0141 


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