Paths to climate-neutral heavy duty trucks

Published 5 april 2022

The Danish Climate Act has set a goal that Denmark must have reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by the year 2030 relative to 1990. With the current policies, this leaves emission reductions by a minimum of 12 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalents in 2030. This calls for an active response from all sectors of society, including the transport sector. As things stand, transport by heavy duty trucks will be responsible for 13 percent of the transport sector's total emissions in 2030, as transport by heavy duty trucks will emit 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 in Denmark.

At present, heavy duty trucks on Danish roads emit approximately 1.7 million tonnes of CO2. With current Danish climate policy, emissions from heavy duty trucks will be reduced by a mere 0.2 million tonnes of CO2 between now and 2030. This was the conclusion of the Danish Energy Agency's most recent climate forecast from April 2021. The reduction will be achieved primarily by means of an expected switch to more energy-efficient diesel vehicles and increased blending of green fuels in fossil diesel. The impact of both of these measures is however negated in part by an increase in heavy duty trucks traffic and by the fact that neither measure will be able to entirely eliminate emissions from heavy duty trucks. Therefore, it is necessary to switch from diesel to alternative, lowcarbon fuels. However, the Danish climate forecast does not anticipate a substantial transition to greener fuels. This lack of progress calls for immediate political action if heavy duty trucks are to contribute to achieving the emissionsreduction target by 2030 and if Denmark is to chart a course towards achieving climate-neutral heavy duty transport by no later than 2050.