The US announced on Friday plans to reduce 1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from trucks and buses by setting deeper fuel efficiency standards for new models.
The new measures would improve efficiency standards by an average of 24% by 2027 from 2021 levels, building on existing standards that took effect from 2014.
The rules would allow banking and trading emissions credits for most manufacturers, the EPA said, which would provide “businesses the opportunity to choose the most cost-effective path to meet the standards”.
Stakeholders have 60 days to comment on the rules. Regulators are then expected to finalise them by early next year.
The measure would be the latest in the government’s sector-by-sector approach to cutting emissions heat-trapping gases. Heavy duty vehicles account for around a fifth of US transport emissions, which discharge around 27% of the nation’s total GHG output.
The EPA said the added costs to vehicle owners would be recouped within two years in the form of savings at the pump, cutting overall fuel costs by $170 billion over the six-year regulated period.
The move would put the US ahead of the EU in regulating pollution from the sector.
Despite having CO2 standards for lighter cars and vans, the EU last year agreed to merely form plans to start monitoring emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, which represent a quarter of the bloc’s road transport emissions and 5% of all EU GHG output.
By Ben Garside – ben@carbon–pulse.com