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).
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 Commission has begun a consultation on whether the 2002 Environmental Noise Directive is doing its job.
A new paper from the OECD on efficient taxation says raising the importance of property taxation and environmental levies is vital for improving government finances.
The EU should impose a 20% reduction target for carbon dioxide emissions from the entire European transport sector by 2020, according to the European Parliament’s transport committee.
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.
The latest report on trends in European transport trends show the EU is highly unlikely to achieve its target of reducing transport emissions by 60% between 1990 and 2050 through technology alone.