News item | 17-11-2022 | 5:00 PM

    Ten new countries are rallying behind a Dutch initiative for clean heavy road traffic. These are Ukraine, the United States, Aruba, Belgium, Ireland, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Croatia, Liechtenstein and Lithuania. Today at the climate summit in Egypt, they signed the ambition that from 2040 all new trucks and buses in their country will drive without exhaust fumes. For example, electric or hydrogen. It is the next step towards completely clean and emission-free road transport in 2050. The total number of countries that have signed now stands at 26.

    Clean saves a lot of emissions

    Trucks and buses are very important for the transport of goods and people. The Netherlands is a real transport country. But heavy transport also causes a lot of pollution. It is responsible for more than a third of CO2 emissions and about 70% of nitrogen emissions from all road traffic worldwide, and produces many harmful gases that people inhale directly.

    The Netherlands has agreed in the climate agreement that it wants all heavy traffic to be clean by 2050. And since a truck drives around for an average of ten years, you must ensure that all new trucks on the road are clean by 2040 at the latest. The Netherlands launched an agreement for this last year at the climate summit in Glasgow. So now ten new countries are joining. The United States is the country that has the most trucks on the road after China. President Biden wants to green the economy, and this Dutch initiative fits in with that. Especially since it is estimated that by 2050 there will be three times as many trucks in the US. Ukraine has indicated that it wants to rebuild the country fossil-free as soon as possible. The Dominican Republic expects very strong economic growth, which it now wants to capitalize on.

    More and more countries are participating

    State Secretary Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Management): “It is a huge milestone that America now supports the Dutch goal of having all new trucks drive emission-free by 2040. Our agreement at the climate summit makes a real difference. I am proud that more and more countries are participating. Together we can really make a difference. By sending a clear signal to the market worldwide, there will soon be more and cheaper supply for transport companies when they switch to an electric truck or one that runs on hydrogen. That is good for them and for the climate. I therefore call on other countries to join in”.

    Global cooperation is important

    In addition to 26 countries, numerous federal states, banks, companies and truck manufacturers are participating. Such as California and Quebec, DHL, Heineken, Scania, BYD and, as of today, Siemens. A topical theme on which State Secretary Heijnen has started more cooperation with them at the COP is the question of how to bridge the price difference between the purchase of diesel and electric or hydrogen. Emission-free trucks will be cheaper over the entire lifespan in the not too distant future. However, due to the high acquisition costs, entrepreneurs may be hesitant to purchase. The Netherlands has a purchase subsidy for clean trucks for this purpose. And in India, of which the state of Telangana participates, electric buses are tendered collectively. This reduces the price difference.

    Participating countries at a glance:
    In addition to the Netherlands, Aruba, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Finland, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Austria, Ukraine, Portugal, Scotland, Turkey, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, United States, Wales and Switzerland.