BRUSSELS – Europe’s automakers are lashing out at new European Union proposals designed to decarbonize the economy and encourage a shift to low- or no-emission options, calling them too focused on technology and discriminatory because they deal only with road transport.

Unveiled in a July 20 formal policy paper, the low-emission mobility strategy comes as part of the European Commission’s wider decarbonization plan. It aims to meet the EU’s 2014 commitment to slash greenhouse-gas emissions 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The strategy includes emissions-cutting targets for 2021-2030 for a range of industrial sectors, including transport. Significantly, it targets further cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions for cars and small trucks (vans), but for the first time includes large trucks and buses. The EC is consulting on future proposals to revise CO2 emissions standards for vans and the way truck fuel-consumption and emissions standards are monitored and reported.

But the bugbear for ACEA, the European automakers’ group, is that the envisioned transport emissions improvements only are to be made on the road, when shipping and aviation also belch out carbon emissions. ACEA says in a statement it wants “a more balanced approach, addressing all modes of transport – including air, maritime and rail.”

Green group Transport & Environment agrees.

“The Commission’s plan is completely devoid of ambition on cutting emissions from aviation and shipping,” the environmental group says.

A spokesperson for the EC tells WardsAuto targeting automakers with the stiffer emissions requirements is justified.

“Since road transport is responsible for over 70% of transport greenhouse-gas emissions and much of the air pollution, action will focus on this area,” the spokesperson says. “(But) all sectors of transport can and must contribute.”

The spokesperson stresses the EC is looking at different options for revising EU laws and their potential impact, so additional demands on air and sea transport may yet be made.

“No date for the revision of the regulation has been set yet,” the spokesperson adds. “This underlines that the commission will carefully assess and any decision on future regulatory requirements would be based on an understanding of the costs and benefits.”

T&E welcomes the planned truck limits and says Europe has shown ambition on cleaner road transport plans.

“This is a good plan, but whether it works will depend on how effectively the promises are delivered,” T&E Executive Director Jos Dings says.