Browse by topic: Air Pollution, Climate Change and Energy


The VW scandal and what does it mean for TTIP?

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Unless you have buried your head in the sand over the last couple of days, you would have been hard pressed to miss the VW cheating scandal that has erupted in the United States. A tsunami of media stories have taken over the front pages of the FT, NYT, The Guardian, Le Figaro, Il Sole 24 Ore, to name a few.

Asbestos and jet engines on EU’s ‘green’ goods list for lower tariffs

Sales of asbestos, airplane engines, petrol and other environmentally harmful goods will be boosted by lower tariffs from the EU and 16 other WTO countries under a draft trade deal that is actually supposed to improve access to technologies that protect the environment, it has been revealed.

Briefing: Environmental Goods Agreement

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Launched in July 2014, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is being negotiated between the European Union – on behalf of its 28 member states – and 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The selection of goods for the EGA list was undertaken in secrecy and without a definition of an environmental good or selection criteria. T&E has identified around 120 items on the list of 650 goods for which we do not see any environmental justification for lowering tariffs. We argue that negotiations should open up and the assessment of what is an environmental good should be conducted by recognised experts in full transparency, on the basis of a widely accepted methodology.

EU adopts world’s first test for diesel car emissions ‘on the road’

EU regulators have today agreed new test procedures that will, for the first time, measure the ‘real world’ emissions of diesel cars under the Euro 6 air quality standard. It will require vehicles to be tested on roads rather than in laboratories, overcoming obsolete tests and ‘cycle beating’ techniques used by carmakers to achieve results in tests many times lower than actual air pollution emissions on the road.

Rail tunnel financing saves congestion charge in Gothenburg

The city council in Gothenburg has decided to keep the city’s congestion charge despite the result of a referendum held last September that called for its abolition. The decision to maintain the charge was taken in order to protect funding for a new rail tunnel under the city centre.

Ship emissions reporting ‘must be stepping stone to CO2 target’

Shipping users will for the first time be granted access to transparent data that identifies the most efficient ships and practices, under a law approved by the European Parliament in full today. The public disclosure of fuel efficiency data will enhance competition for the best ships and routes, which in turn will trigger market forces that will result in fuel savings. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said the measure is a stepping stone to CO2 targets that will start delivering much-needed cuts to shipping’s ever-growing emissions.

Companies’ ‘green tape’ fear exaggerated

New research from the OECD suggests stricter environmental policies do not hold back economic growth, and that governments and companies are often wrong to claim that measures to tackle environmental threats will damage economic competitiveness through imposing a burden of ‘green tape’.

France moves against diesel

France has set itself on course to displace diesel as the preferred fuel for private cars, with the prime minister describing French pro-diesel transport policy as ‘a mistake’ and announcing financial incentives to replace the country’s extensive diesel car fleet in order to tackle air pollution. The mayor of Paris has also announced plans to largely ban diesel cars, buses and trucks from the city by 2020.