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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Environmental aspects of the automotive industry

Protection of the environment and improvement of air quality is an important objective of the European Commission. In the automotive industry, EU legislation and standards aim to reduce the emission of CO2, NO2 and particulate matter. The Commission also works on noise reduction and the elimination of fluorinated greenhouse gases used in mobile air-conditioning systems.


Road transport is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, producing around 15% of the EU's CO2 emissions. The Commission focuses on the reduction of emissions from the following vehicle categories in particular:

  • light-duty vehicles (cars and vans)
  • heavy duty vehicles (coaches, buses, trucks)
  • non-road mobile machinery (excavators, bulldozers, front loaders)

Binding emission limits were already introduced for light and heavy-duty vehicles. Environmental requirements for agricultural and forestry tractors, and two or three-wheeled vehicles will be included in future regulations. More on emissions from light and heavy-duty vehicles and emissions from non-road mobile machinery.

Noise reduction

Reducing the noise of vehicles is another priority for the Commission. The new Regulation adopted in 2014 will significantly contribute to reducing vehicle noise. More on noise.

Mobile air-conditioning systems (MACs)

To reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases used in mobile air-conditioning systems (MACs), the European Directive on MACs introduced a gradual ban on these gases. This law will help the Commission meet its climate action objectives. More on MACs.

More information on the reduction of emissions can be found on the Directorate-General for Climate Action website.