Government supports stricter CO2 emission limits for heavy-duty vehicles – biogas to be taken into account

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 30.3.2023 13.27 | Published in English on 30.3.2023 at 15.06
Press release
Electric lorries side by side, driver walking beside one of them. Text “Lataudu tulevaisuuteen” (Recharge for the future) written on the side wall of an electric lorry and a drawing of a power socket and battery beside it.
Photo: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi/LVM

On 30 March 2023, the Government submitted a Union communication to Parliament concerning the European Commission’s proposal on stricter carbon dioxide emission limits for new heavy-duty vehicles placed on the market. The Government supports the Commission’s proposal on stricter CO2 emission limits for heavy-duty vehicles.

These limits will promote the manufacture of zero-emission and even more energy efficient vehicles and thus improve access to these in Finland as well. However, the Government considers it important that the target for 2040 will not be further tightened during the proceedings. There should also be room for other alternative fuel systems besides those using electricity and hydrogen. In addition to electricity and hydrogen, the use of renewable methane and liquid renewable fuels should be taken into account in the work on the proposal. 

The European Commission gave the proposal for the Regulation on 14 February 2023. The Regulation will lead the industry towards the manufacture and sale of zero-emission vehicles, i.e. fully electric and hydrogen vehicles. According to the proposal, the stricter emission limits would be introduced stepwise. In 2030, emissions of new heavy-duty vehicles registered for the first time in the EU should be, on average, 45% lower. The present target is to reduce emissions by 30%. In addition, emissions should be reduced by 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040.

More detailed impacts on Finland should be considered

The Government considers it appropriate to expand the scope of the Regulation to also cover buses and coaches, trailers and lighter lorries. With respect to heavier-duty vehicles, however, the expansion of the scope should be assessed as the preparations continue. Further, the Government points out that the preparations should include an assessment of the more specific impacts of the proposal and any changes made to it on Finland.

The Government also considers it important to promote the needs related to the calculation of emissions of larger-than-usual vehicle combinations. The current emission calculations do not take into account the considerable impact of larger loads on emissions.

The Government supports the Commission’s proposal that all new buses in urban transport should be emission-free in 2030. In addition, the Government considers the derogation included in the proposal concerning small-scale vehicle manufacturers and the exclusion of certain vehicles such as non-road mobile machinery as appropriate. 

According to the Commission’s proposal, the Regulation would be reassessed in 2029 when the markets have developed further.

What's next?

On 30 March 2023, the Government submitted a Union communication on the matter to Parliament. The communication will be considered by the Grand Committee, together with statements submitted by the relevant special committees.

The consideration of the legislative proposal will start in the Working Party on the Environment of the Council of the EU and in the European Parliament, and they will establish their own position on it before the trilogue negotiations are started. 


Sara Österberg, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 571 5019, [email protected]