General approach on CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles adopted by the EU’s Environment Council

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 17.10.2023 10.03 | Published in English on 19.10.2023 at 16.01
Press release
(Photo: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi/LVM)

At the Environment Council meeting on 16 October 2023, the Member States of the European Union adopted a general approach on CO2 emissions restrictions for new heavy-duty vehicles.

On 14 February 2023, the European Commission proposed stricter carbon dioxide emissions restrictions for new heavy-duty vehicles placed on the market. The Commission's proposal would amend the regulation on CO2 emission standards, which aims to prompt vehicle manufacturers to improve the energy efficiency of vehicles and to increase the supply of zero-emission and low-emission vehicles in the market. 

According to the general approach, emissions of new heavy-duty vehicles registered for the first time in the EU should be 45% lower on average by 2030. The present target is to reduce emissions by 30%. In addition, emissions should be reduced by 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040. Finland supported these targets in the negotiations. It was important for Finland not to tighten the 2040 reduction target in order for the regulation to leave room, also in the long term, for using several power sources in addition to electricity and hydrogen.

The general approach sets an emissions reduction target of 85% for new urban buses by 2035 and introduces a 100% zero-emission target for them from 2035 onwards.

Securing the availability of extra heavy combination (EHC) lorries, which have bigger dimensions and mass than other combinations, has also been an important issue for Finland in the negotiations. A sub-group was added to the general approach for vehicles used in extra heavy combinations. The Commission was authorised to adopt more specific provisions on vehicles used in extra heavy combinations in order to take better account of their energy efficiency in emissions calculations.

Next steps

The European Parliament will formulate its position on the regulation towards the end of 2023. The Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and the European Commission will then continue the negotiations in trilogue meetings.


Sara Österberg, Senior Officer, tel. +358 295 342 041, sara.osterberg(at)

Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 295 342 101, paivi.antikainen(at)