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European Parliament decides to tighten CO2 limits for heavy commercial vehicles



The Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP) welcomed the Nov. 22 decision by the European Parliament to lower the CO2-emission limits for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.


This decision is appropriate, UFOP emphasized, referring to the possibility of using greenhouse gas-reduced alternative fuels such as biofuels or synthetic fuels to meet the target.


In view of the limited volume potential of biofuels, UFOP is calling for a biofuel strategy that focuses on areas of application that are practically impossible to electrify.


This includes heavy-goods transport, in particular, but also agriculture and forestry.


This open-technology approach also includes the development of battery-electric drives and the use of hydrogen for fuel cells and enables the further development of combustion engines, which would also have to fulfill ever-increasing requirements for emissions approval.


According to the Nov. 22 decision, commercial-vehicle manufacturers will be obliged to reduce the average CO2 emissions of heavy commercial vehicles by 45 percent by 2030, 65 percent by 2035 and 90 percent by 2040.


UFOP particularly welcomed the technological aspect of the decision, because Germany, as one of the leading international locations for the development of engines for commercial vehicles, should not be allowed to withdraw from this important market.


Otherwise, this development will take place as a politically desired relocation to other regions of the world.


Irrespective of EU policy, combustion engines are also being further developed for the use of alternative fuels, the association emphasized.


“Politicians must keep an eye on these future markets outside the EU,” UFOP stated, recalling the successful initiative by Indian Prime Minister Modi to establish the Global Biofuel Alliance at the G20 summit in September.

Italy is the only country from the EU that is a member of this alliance.


The German government had been involved in preparatory talks but had not joined.


UFOP is calling for this to be corrected “as a matter of urgency,” the association said.


“UFOP is taking the European Parliament’s decision as an opportunity to scrutinize the recurring discussion about the use of sustainably certified biofuels from cultivated biomass,” UFOP stated. “UFOP clarifies that the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001/EU) and the current amendments (RED III) have created the basis for a reliable long-term framework. This applies in particular to the regulations on the continuation of the cap on biofuels from cultivated biomass and from waste, as well as the stipulation that biofuels from palm oil can no longer be counted towards quota obligations in all member states from 2030 at the latest. Many member states have already enshrined this exclusion in law, including Germany with the quota year 2023. Whether soybean oil will also be excluded from use is currently being examined by the EU Commission. Even if the soy plant is labelled as an oil plant, the oil content of soya beans is 20 percent on average, compared to 42 percent for rapeseed grown in Europe.”

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