In 2017, road transport contributed 21% of the EU's total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.
Light-duty vehicles – cars and light commercial vehicles (vans) – produce around 15% of the EU emissions of CO2.
EU legislation sets binding CO2 emission targets for the new car and van fleets.
On 17 April 2019, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/631 setting new CO2 emission standards for cars and vans. The new regulation applies since 1 January 2020.
CO₂ labelling of cars
To help drivers choose new cars with low fuel consumption, EU legislation requires Member States to ensure that relevant information is provided to consumers, including a label showing a car's fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
Heavy-duty vehicles – trucks and buses – are responsible for about a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU and for some 5% of total EU emissions.
On 20 June 2019, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 setting CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, with targets for reducing the average emissions from new lorries for 2025 and 2030.
Fuel quality is an important element in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport. EU legislation requires the greenhouse gas intensity of vehicle fuels to be cut by up to 10% by 2020.
Links to related EU policies
- Commission Expert Group - E02795 for policy development and implementation of CO2 from road vehicles
Studies supporting the development of EU policy on CO2 emissions from road transport
The information and views set out in the reports and studies published below are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Commission. The Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in these reports and studies. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Studies dealing specifically with CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles can be found on a separate web page.