Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E Director
Did we miss something? Last year, the European Commission didn’t propose a single new legislative measure to clean up transport. To be fair, it has been spending most of its time worrying about the future of the Eurozone. As a result, for T&E this was the sort of year where seeds for smarter transport policy were sown. We’re optimistic that next year could bring a decent crop of positive changes.
A new study commissioned by T&E has suggested that current thinking about the fuel consumption of vehicles has left out an important element – the impact of fuel efficiency standards on the price of oil. The report could change the way governments, politicians and the EU views the pricing of transport.
The current fashion among Europe’s politicians seems to be providing financial incentives to scrap old cars and replace them with new ones. It is being dressed up as an environmental measure, despite evidence that it can do more harm than good, and in Germany it has led to two absurd developments.
EU economics ministers have asked the Commission to coordinate ‘vehicle scrapping schemes’ – taxpayer-funded payments to people who replace an old car with a new one. The schemes are being touted as environment-friendly, but T&E disputes this.