Netherlands pushes for emission-free trucks by 2040 at COP26
All new trucks and buses sold from 2040 onwards must run on clean energy. At least 13 countries will express this ambition at the climate summit in Glasgow. The statement of intent is an initiative of the Netherlands. Various companies and cities also expressed their support.
"Because trucks have been on the road for about ten years on average, the agreement is a good step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses worldwide to zero by 2050," said the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. State Secretary Steven van Weyenberg, currently in Glasgow, called the agreement "a good start." He hopes more countries will join.
The countries that immediately joined the Netherlands are the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Turkey, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada, Chile, Switzerland, and Uruguay. Companies like Unilever, IKEA, Volvo, Scania, UPS, Amazon, and Siemens also joined. Scotland and Wales independently expressed their support, as have New York, Delhi, and the city network C40, to which Amsterdam and Rotterdam belong, among others.
The target is in line with agreements from the Dutch climate agreement. It states the goal of completely clean road traffic by 2050. "It is important to work towards this together with other countries so that the market develops faster," said Van Weyenberg. His Ministry pointed out that Dutch companies are "good at building emission-free buses and trucks."
Examples include companies like Ebusco and VDL. Both companies in Noord-Brabant have already supplied electric buses to numerous cities in the Netherlands and abroad. The declaration, therefore, does not really entail any new obligations for the Netherlands, but it could turn out to be beneficial for its own business community.
A few years ago, making heavy transport more sustainable was more complicated than now because the technology was not yet mature. Numerous truck builders have now developed models that run or electricity or hydrogen.
"The emissions from the transport sector worldwide are not in line with the Paris goals," the Ministry said, referring to the climate goals agreed upon in 2015. "Heavy traffic accounts for more than a third of CO2 emissions and about 70 percent of nitrogen emissions from all road traffic worldwide and produces many harmful gases that people inhale directly."
Reason enough to go green, said Van Weyenberg. However, that is still expensive. "Many transport companies are hesitant about the price, and many producers are still hesitant to make clean trucks en masse," they acknowledge in The Hague. That is why we are working on a new subsidy scheme for the purchase of clean trucks. There is already a subsidy for the purchase of emission-free delivery vans.
Reporting by ANP