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Europe, the battlefield for a greener world?

This blogpost by Joao Vieira, T&E's President, also appears as the foreword to our Annual Review Report.The EU is about peace, first and foremost. But as a political battlefield, it has few equals. In that context, we would summarise 2012 as the year that: Europe made it through the year in one piece, green transport policies suffered, were sometimes wounded, but soldiered on, and, last but not least, T&E played its role in the troops - quite often on the frontline.

Action on charging points to help electric vehicles

The EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas has floated the idea of the EU legislating to oblige member states to provide more charging points for electric vehicles. The proposal came as part of a ‘Clean Power for Transport’ package launched last month that looks to encourage a greater take-up of alternative-fuel vehicles by the public. T&E said it was ‘a small but largely welcome step’ in the right direction.

10 questions for 2013 to test how important sustainable transport is for European leaders

Opinion by our Director, Jos Dings

A new year has come, full of new challenges and opportunities. Fortunately, for now, Europe seems to have averted the worst emergencies. This should allow for some less ad-hoc and more strategic thinking about recipes to get ourselves out of the woods.

MEPs' transport wish list contradicts smarter spending aims

Environmental NGOs from the ‘Coalition for sustainable EU funds’ [1] warn that today’s European Parliament votes on future EU transport spending contradict MEPs' own ambitions for more sustainable spending by approving a Christmas wish list including damaging projects. [2]

Cheaper car travel not helping environment, says EEA

The economic downturn of the last three years has contributed to some improvements in the impact of Europe’s transport on the environment, but while car transport has remained steady, train travel has decreased, largely because the cost is rising more quickly than the cost of driving.

World still not taking climate change seriously, say three reports

Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are hitting new highs, and global action to tackle such concentrations is falling well short of what is needed to prevent dangerous climate change, according to two new reports. A third report says tackling climate change is a key to ending poverty. T&E says the findings should strengthen the Commission and MEPs when they face pressure to weaken EU legislation such as the fuel quality directive and emissions trading for aviation.

Finally the recognition – but still lots of difficult questions

Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E directorAfter almost two years of delay, it now seems that the European Commission is indeed going to do something about indirect land-use change caused by growing crops for biofuels. And a delay it has been. Faithful readers of the Bulletin must have noted our regular coverage of the true avalanche of reports, studies and positions by generally very cautious bodies like the OECD and the FAO, pointing out the big risks and dangers of biofuels if handled without proper care.

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).

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