EU Adopts Single Methodology for Calculating Transport Emissions

MEPs on Transport and Environment Committees have unanimously adopted a single EU methodology for calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport services. This decision comes in light of the significant discrepancy in results caused by transport companies currently using different methods to count GHG emissions. The adoption of a single methodology aims to prevent misleading consumers and the practice of greenwashing in the transport industry.

The new rules do not mandate transport companies to calculate their GHG emissions but require them to follow the provided methodology if they choose to do so for reporting or marketing purposes. Additionally, MEPs have highlighted the limitations of the current methodology, which only accounts for emissions from the use of a vehicle (well-to-wheel) and does not include emissions from vehicle production, maintenance, and disposal (life-cycle emissions). They have requested the Commission to present a methodology for calculating life-cycle GHG emissions of all transport modes within two years and suggest ways to implement it.

To ease the burden on companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), MEPs have urged the Commission to develop a free public calculation tool and provide free access to the European GHG emissions calculation standard. They have also suggested Member States introduce financial incentives to encourage the use of direct measurements of GHG emissions.

The draft rules also establish common metrics for representing GHG emissions, such as CO2 emitted per tonne-kilometre for freight transport and CO2 emitted per passenger kilometre for passenger transport. MEPs emphasise the need for transparent disclosure of this data, substantiated by evidence available through a weblink or QR code.

EP rapporteur Barbara Thaler (EPP, AU) emphasised the need to address the production and recycling of vehicles, stating that the current regulation gives an unfair advantage to Battery Electric Vehicles produced outside Europe. Meanwhile, EP rapporteur Pascal Canfin (Renew, FR) highlighted that the new rules will promote transparency in GHG emissions, enabling informed choices and accelerating the decarbonisation of the transport sector.

The draft rules, as amended by the committees, will be voted on at an upcoming plenary session and will represent Parliament’s position at first reading. The subsequent steps will be followed by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.