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Moving towards greener procurement for public transport

Author: Richard Adams
Posted on: Monday, March 4, 2019 - 14:04

A significant breakthrough on the Clean Vehicle Directive and new European Commission Green Public Procurement criteria could herald a cleaner future for Europe's public transport.

In mid-February, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on the Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD).

This reform aims to increase market certainty and help cut down overall transport emissions.

The new rules should also strengthen the competitiveness of European industry in the expanding global markets for new clean vehicle-related technologies. The agreement will now be submitted for confirmation by Member States in the Council.

The reform sets out minimum procurement targets for clean light-duty vehicles, trucks and buses for 2025 and 2030. The targets are expressed as minimum percentages of clean vehicles in the total number of road transport vehicles covered by the aggregate of all procurement contracts and public service contracts.

Crucially, the text includes new definitions of what a 'clean vehicle' is. The designation of a clean light-duty vehicle is based on CO2 emission standard, whilst the definition of clean heavy-duty vehicles is based on the use of alternative fuels.

The scope of the rules is also being extended in terms of the procurement practices covered. The new rules will also apply to a wider range of services, including public road transport services, special-purpose passenger services, refuse collection, and postal and parcel delivery services.

Following the directive's entry into force, EU Member States will have up to 24 months in which to adopt national provisions. They will need to report to the Commission on the implementation of the rules every three years. The first report is due by 18 April 2026.

A formal vote in both the European Parliament and European Council will follow at a later date. Read more on the CVD.

Discussions on the CVD followed new European Commission guidance published in January to help public authorities in Europe with their public procurement decisions for cars, buses and trucks.

To read the transport-related Green Public Procurement (GPP) guidance, click here. Read the full GPP criteria here.

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