“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,” says the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Secretary of State Steven van Weyenberg, who is in Glasgow these days, calls the agreement ‘a good start’. He hopes more countries will join.
The countries that immediately participate in the Netherlands are the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Turkey, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada, Chile, Switzerland and Uruguay.
Companies such as Unilever, IKEA, Volvo, Scania, UPS, Amazon and Siemens have also joined. Scotland and Wales have also independently expressed their support, as have New York, Delhi and the city network C40, of which Amsterdam and Rotterdam are members, among others.
The target is in line with agreements from the Dutch climate agreement. The aim is to achieve completely clean road traffic by 2050.
“It is important to go for this together with other countries, so that the market can develop faster,” says Van Weyenberg. His ministry points out that Dutch companies are ‘good at building emission-free buses and trucks’.
Electricity or hydrogen
A few years ago, making heavy transport more sustainable was more complicated than it is now, because the technology was not yet mature. Numerous truck builders have now developed models that run on electricity or hydrogen. Brabant companies such as Ebusco and VDL have already supplied many cities with electric buses.
“The emissions from the transport sector worldwide are not in line with the Paris goals,” the ministry says about the climate goals that were agreed 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, says 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.