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Industry lobbying continues to hold Commission back

The current Commission is on track to have one of the worst-ever environmental records of any EU administration. That is the view of the group of 10 Brussels-based environmental NGOs (‘Green 10’), whose mid-term assessment of José Manuel Barroso’s second Commission says it would not win any medals and is acting to protect the environment even less than his first Commission (2005-09).

Linking minimum tax rates with energy and CO2 still proving difficult

The idea of making fuel tax in Europe relate to a fuel’s energy and carbon dioxide content is still struggling to get into the EU Energy Tax Directive. Last month EU finance ministers moved closer to approving a new structure for minimum tax rates for fuels, but most member states opposed any system that would force them to make diesel more expensive than petrol.

The real story behind the latest EEA emissions figures (part 2)

This blog is part 2 of an analysis of 20 years of CO2 emission trends in transport (1990-2010) as recently published by the European Environment Agency. The first blog focused on overall trends, and on aviation and shipping. In this post Jos Dings, T&E director, looks into individual countries’ performance, in particular when set next to their economic performance, and challenges the common belief that, after all, transport emissions are an almost inevitable by-product of economic growth.

Lagarde calls for a ‘green economy’, and supports carbon charges for transport

The head of the International Monetary Fund has said the economic growth needed to get the world’s economies back to health must be ‘on a different track than before the crisis’. Christine Lagarde’s comments came just after a number of ex-finance ministers wrote to today’s European finance ministers, asking them to shift the burden from income tax and VAT on to carbon and energy taxes.

The real story behind the latest EEA emissions figures (part 1)

A closer look at Europe's latest annual emissions figures reveals some reasons for concern.  In the first of a two-part blog, T&E's Director Jos Dings explains the reality behind the EEA's numbers.

Smarter ‘grandfathering’ policy could be the breakthrough on biofuels

Deforestation
A report commissioned by T&E and two other environmental NGOs says the EU can deal successfully with the troublesome issue of indirect land-use change (Iluc) in biofuels production by taking a more enlightened approach to the principle of ‘grandfathering’.

Warnings show time is running out for tackling climate change

Extreme warnings about the consequences of delaying action to tackle climate change have come from two sources in the last month. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says a global climate deal must be agreed by 2017 if global temperatures are to be kept under control, and an American institute says global warming is happening faster than the most pessimistic scenarios have predicted.

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