Road transport: Reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles
Road transport contributes about one-fifth of the EU's total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas. While these emissions fell by 3.3% in 2012, they are still 20.5% higher than in 1990. Transport is the only major sector in the EU where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising.
Light-duty vehicles – cars and vans – produce around 15% of the EU's emissions of CO2.
EU legislation sets binding emission targets for new car and van fleets. As the automotive industry works towards meeting these targets, average emissions are falling each year.
Legislation requires the Commission to propose post-2020 targets by the end of 2015. The aim is to cut emissions further while giving the automotive industry the certainty it needs to carry out long-term investments and develop innovative technologies.
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 6% of total EU emissions.
Despite some improvements in fuel consumption efficiency in recent years, these emissions are still rising, mainly due to increasing road freight traffic.
The Commission is working on a comprehensive strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in both freight and passenger transport.
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.