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Climate Action

Road transport: Reducing CO₂ emissions from vehicles

In 2017, road transport contributed 21% of the EU's total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.


Light-duty vehicles

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.

The targets for 2015 (for cars) and 2017 (for vans) were achieved already in 2013.

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

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

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

Other links


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