CountEmissionsEU and GHG emissions in transport

The European commission has proposed a new Regulation related to GHG emissions in the transport sector. The initiative concerns both the passenger and the freight sector and aims to achieve fair comparability between various transport services. EGEN’s impact assessment specialists will tell you all about it in this article.

About the ‘Greening Freight’ package

In July 2023, the European Commission proposed the Greening Freight package consisting of three measures to increase the efficiency and sustainability of freight transport:

  • the CountEmissionsEU Regulation for comparing carbon footprints of transport services
  • a Directive on the authorised dimensions for certain road vehicles
  • a Regulation concerning the use of railway infrastructure capacity

EGEN’s Impact Assessment Centre helps organisations to quantify the impacts of their green projects, investments and innovations and closely monitors all relevant updates in policy and methodologies. In this article, our impact specialists update you on the key elements of the proposed CountEmissionsEU Regulation.

What is CountEmissionsEU about?

The primary challenge that CountEmissionsEU aims to address is the deficiency of harmonised and comparable information on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the transport sector. This lack of information makes it difficult for companies, customers, and travellers to easily and accurately monitor, compare and choose among various transport service options based on their GHG emissions. On top of that, the absence of a uniform methodology for calculating such emissions facilitates greenwashing.

CountEmissionsEU is set to become a common framework for quantifying the GHG emissions of transport services, for various modes of transportation. The Commission’s proposal entails a unified methodology for computing these emissions, a set of default values to facilitate calculations, and additional standards to verify the resulting output data and the use of calculation tools. This widely scoped initiative covers both freight and passenger transport operations.

Will the calculation of GHG emissions from transport services be mandatory for businesses?

While CountEmissionsEU sets up a structured framework, it doesn’t enforce the disclosure of GHG emissions data. However, if any entity chooses to calculate and reveal GHG emissions data from transport services, they must adhere to the CountEmissionsEU framework. This ensures that GHG emissions data, received by shippers, passengers, or e-commerce customers, is both accurate and comparable across different transport services and operations.

CountEmissionsEU’s consistent framework and balanced field for GHG emissions accounting are anticipated to gradually encourage broader adoption within the market. This could encompass small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which often provide their services to larger transport organisers and intermediaries.

Method to calculate your GHG emissions

The European Commission suggests employing the method outlined in the new standard EN ISO 14083:2023 to calculate the GHG emissions. This standard lays down a common set of rules and emissions calculation principles for transport operations based on the ‘well-to-wheel’ concept, including emissions from both vehicle utilization and energy supplied to the vehicle. Thanks to its global applicability, EN ISO 14083:2023 can also be used for assessing emissions from international transport activities, even those involving multiple modes of transportation.

Will external calculation tools available on the market be allowed?

Yes. The availability of technical calculation tools (such as web-based applications, models or software) is key to facilitating the uptake of the common emissions accounting methodology among transport stakeholders. External calculation tools offered on the market for broader commercial and non-commercial use can serve this initiative well, offering functionalities for the automated calculation of emissions. However, the providers of these tools should guarantee that they conform to the requirements of CountEmissionsEU, including the common reference methodology, modelling parameters and the input data. Therefore, the regulation will require these external calculation tools to be certified under the CountEmissionsEU framework.

What can EGEN do for you?

Would you like to better understand the implications of upcoming policy developments such as CountEmissionsEU for your organisation? Or are you interested in increasing the credibility of your sustainable efforts? Contact us for an introductory meeting with one of our experts.

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