At COP 27 the United States of America, Ukraine, Ireland, Aruba, Belgium, Croatia, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Liechtenstein, and Lithuania announced they would join the world’s most ambitious agreement to address climate emissions from transport—the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (Global MOU).

First introduced at COP26, the Global MOU puts countries on a path to 100% new zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (MHDV) sales by 2040 at the latest, with an interim goal of at least 30% new sales by 2030.

“We have to work together across oceans and borders to meet our clean energy goals,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This global partnership will leverage the billions of dollars in clean transportation investments provided by President Biden’s Agenda to drive technological innovation, lower vehicle costs, and reduce transportation emissions.”

“The United States sends a powerful message today to the international community that it will work strategically and collaboratively to transition the commercial vehicle sector to zero-emissions. Today’s action will advance zero-emission vehicle manufacturing, boost our economy, and create good paying jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Boesel, CEO of CALSTART.

The Global MOU is co-led by the nation of the Netherlands and CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero (Drive to ZeroTM) program and campaign.

“Currently, Ukraine is going through rough times: we are defending ourselves against Russian military aggression and fighting for the lives of our people. But we are sure that we will win. And we understand the importance of our victory for the entire civilized world. That is why we are ready to sign agreements related to the future of Ukraine and the future of the whole world already now. Our country fully understands and supports important decisions on preserving the ecology of the planet,” said Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure for Ukraine.

In the midst of fierce fighting and a challenging political landscape, new signatory Ukraine is one of Europe’s largest truck markets. AVERE Ukraine, which is advancing electromobility in Ukraine, was instrumental in bringing the Global MOU to Eastern Europe.

“As the population of a small and arid island, the inhabitants of Aruba are keenly aware of the impact of climate on our daily lives and our livelihood. But we build our community by dealing with our vulnerabilities and by setting our ambitions high and our standards higher. With this MOU we can continue to build and move forward based on that resolute spirit,” said Minister Ursell Arends, Minister of Transportation, Integrity, Nature & Senior Affairs for Aruba.

“The limited time horizon and the level of ambition needed to decarbonize the European transport sector by 2050 require ambitious policies, on all levels. Belgium is committed to put all its efforts into sustainable, emission free mobility because of the clear benefits for the climate and air quality. At the same time, we are motivated to put the existing production of trucks on a future-oriented track, e.g., with sustainable battery production and job creation in Belgium,” said Minister Zakia Khattabi, Belgium’s Minister for Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and Green Deal. “We look forward to learning from other countries as part of the MOU and strengthening each other in this challenging transition.”

“For Curaçao, as an island nation in the Caribbean, it is a priority to support these kinds of initiatives. In this way, Curaçao also forms part of international goals in the context of climate change. Making transport more sustainable must also be feasible for an island nation like Curaçao in the Caribbean. It is important to give our children a better world to live in. Curaçao is a small island, but we can be an example for larger countries in the way we deal with these kinds of aspects. We are ready for this challenge!” said Minister Charles Cooper, Minister of Transportation for Curaçao.

“The scale of change needed to meet the 50% reduction in transport emissions and to reach net zero within three decades is beyond compare,” said Minister Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s Minister for Transport and the Environment, Climate and Communications. “Governments must encourage and support the private sector with the right mix of policy and regulatory action to ensure we reach our climate objectives over the next decade.”

“The future belongs to clean and sustainable transport. This is a priority for the Lithuanian Government and we’re on track to reach this goal. Around 70% of the fleet of Lithuanian international freight haulers consists of the least polluting fossil fuel trucks that are currently on the market. Lithuania fully supports the global initiatives of combating climate change that are outlined in this Memorandum of Understanding. The actions planned will aid us in achieving zero-emission transport by 2050. We trust that the industry will contribute in every possible way to the achievement of these goals,“ said Minister Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania.

With today’s announcement, there are now 26 countries — including the United Kingdom and Canada — on four continents who have signed the Global MOU (see the complete list here).

“Together, we can make the difference. By sending a clear signal to the market that, in the near future, there’ll be more options for transport companies wishing to make the switch to electric or hydrogen vehicles. That’s good for them and good for the climate. I’d like to call on other countries to join us in this endeavor,” said Minister Vivianne Heijnen, Dutch Minister for the Environment.

Since COP26 last year, signatory countries have been meeting regularly to build a framework for reaching the ambitious 2030 and 2040 goals for zero-emission transport. To that end, Global MOU organizers and signatories have developed a Multi-Country Action Plan for the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-duty Vehicles. The action plan summarizes policies adopted to date and offers recommendations for further action to help those countries reach the targets.

Since it first launched, subnational governments from around the world—including California, Québec, and Telangana in India—as well as private sector innovators Scania, DHL, Heineken, Ballard, and Eaton have signed formal acknowledgements endorsing the ambition of the Global MOU.

New endorsers announced today include technology company Siemens, Workhorse Group, Commercial Vehicle Charging Europe (a joint venture of Europe’s biggest truck manufacturers, which will build at least 1700 public charge points for heavy-duty vehicles in Europe by 2027), Heliox, Avere, REE Automotive USA Inc., Brightmerge, ParkMyFleet, Phoenix Motorcars, Sono Motors, and Charge Across America. Quotes from the new endorsers about why they are helping to accelerate zero-emission transport can be found on our website.

The ambition of the Global MOU is grounded in real-world data on model availability and technology readiness. Historically seen as a challenging segment to electrify, there are currently more than 800 models of zero-emission MHDVs on the market globally.

Today’s announcement happened at the joint Netherlands/CALSTART COP27 event (Zero-emission trucks are here! Financing the transition). The session focused on the next frontier for zero-emission transport—how to close the financial gaps to accelerate the deployment, investment, and financing of zero-emission MHDV. This session’s focus aligns with the theme of this year’s COP — implementation and action.

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