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Fifteen countries and numerous companies in the transport sector around the world are switching to clean heavy road transport. On the initiative of the Netherlands, at the climate summit in Glasgow today they signed up to the goal of zero emissions from 2040 onwards for all new trucks and buses in their countries. Because trucks are in use for about 10 years on average, the agreement is a great step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses worldwide to zero by 2050.

Clean saves a lot of emissions

The Netherlands is truly a transport country, writes the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in a press release. That creates jobs and brings in money. And the country is also increasingly green: Dutch companies excel at building emission-free buses and trucks.

But heavy transport also remains a major source of air pollution. Emissions from the transport sector worldwide are not in line with the Paris targets. Heavy traffic accounts for over a third of CO2 emissions and some 70 percent of nitrogen emissions from all road traffic worldwide and produces many harmful gases that people breathe in directly.

Solutions of importance to the Netherlands

Trucks and buses that run on a battery or hydrogen provide a solution to this. They are quiet and drive completely emission-free. But they are still expensive. Freight carriers are struggling to keep up with the price and many manufacturers are still hesitant to start producing clean trucks on a large scale.

The Netherlands wants to set the pace. Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands can buy subsidized emission-free delivery vans and a similar scheme is also forthcoming for trucks. But these trucks must be made available in a wide variety. Manufacturers of buses and trucks are spread all over the world. International cooperation is therefore key.

State Secretary Van Weyenberg (Infrastructure and Water Management) says: “This agreement is a good start. The Netherlands is ambitious. In the climate agreement, we agreed that all road traffic must be emission-free by 2050. It is important to work on this together with other countries so that the market develops more quickly. I therefore call on other countries to join in.”

Read also: The truck of the future is already here

In addition to the Netherlands, Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Turkey, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Wales and Switzerland are also participating.

Working together

These 15 countries aim to create a policy to achieve the agreed-upon targets. They plan to collaborate intensively and exchange knowledge to reach these goals and will report annually on their progress. In addition to these countries, numerous states, freight forwarders and truck manufacturers such as California, DHL, Heineken, Scania and BYD, are also participating.

The logic behind the targets is simple. If you want to be completely emission-free by 2050, all new trucks and buses must be emission-free by 2040, considering that they have a lifespan of about 10 years. And to accomodate the logical time of replacement for entrepreneurs, the goal is to have 30% of new heavy vehicles emission-free by 2030.

Machiel van der Kuijl of evofenedex comments: “It is good that the Netherlands is taking the lead in this. If neighboring countries also join in, there will be more choice and prices will be lower. That is important for our entrepreneurs. But a lot remains to be done, both in the Netherlands and in the rest of the world, so that electric trucks can be charged efficiently and to provide seamless logistics.

Charging stations

To underline the importance of good charging stations, the Netherlands and California are also organizing a separate session on charging stations at the climate summit today. For without good charging infrastructure, clean cars, buses and trucks cannot operate.

Read also: ‘E-fuels crucial for making heavy transport more sustainable’

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