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Road transport cutting CO2 emissions


28 Sep 2010



Public authorities’ experts, manufacturers and road hauliers explore trends, technologies and policies to cut CO2 emissions of road transport and call upon governments to improve infrastructure, promote alternative energies and allow for international use of harmonised longer commercial vehicle combinations.

Hanover – The IRU-VDA joint conference, organised in the framework of the 63rd IAA Commercial Vehicle Exhibition, on the theme “Reducing CO2 in the road transport industry – trends, technologies, policies”, brought together experts from the public authorities, manufacturers and haulier companies to discuss prospects for further reducing effectively the environmental footprint of the road transport sector.

IRU President, Janusz Lacny, highlighted, “Over the past 20 years, the road transport industry focused on dramatically reducing its toxic emissions by up to 98%. The sector is now standing up to the remaining challenge of CO2 emissions and has proactively adopted the IRU’s “30-by-30 Resolution”, which is a pledge from the entire road transport industry worldwide to cut   its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.”

Participants emphasised that in today’s globalised economy, overall transport accounts for 30% of CO2 emissions whereas the commercial road transport industry is only responsible for 3% of total CO2 emissions - as put forward by the UNFCCC in 2006 – and that in most cases, road transport presents a lower environmental footprint than other modes of transport in equivalent door-to-door service.

Klaus Bräunig, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), who opened the event, said: “The manufacturers are working intensively on reducing CO2 output. They are willing to set themselves ambitious targets. But these targets must not overburden the industry and its capabilities, and they must not make vehicles so expensive that customers can no longer afford them. That would preclude fleet renewal, with all the negative effects that would have on the environment.” Bräunig pointed out that the CO2 emissions from commercial vehicles, unlike those from passenger cars, cannot be reduced to a simple average value, but depend on the use to which the vehicle is put, its loading volume, loading weight and operational profile. “For these reasons, even with all its appropriate climate-policy ambition, the European Commission should also always keep an eye firmly on the economic and technical realities.”

Conference participants concluded that governments should

    * Aim at improving road infrastructure and policies to effectively reduce fuel consumption, and thus CO2 emissions;
    * Promote alternative and sustainable energies/fuel sources for lighter commercial vehicles; and
    * Develop international harmonised standards to allow the broadest possible use of the Modular Concept (longer vehicle combinations), which is the most effective solution to boost multimodal transport while considerably reducing CO2 emissions from road transport.

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Press contact: Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07,