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Green change possible if people see that it works

Opinion by Dudley Curtis - T&E Communications Manager Dudley Curtis leaves T&E in August after eight years as communications manager. Here he reflects on how the campaign to force car makers to stick to a maximum average level of carbon dioxide emissions has evolved, and what this says about the chances of further environmental progress.

Commission set to back 2020 car CO2 limits

The Commission is planning to set 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre as the obligatory emissions limit for the average new car by 2020. T&E has welcomed the news but says developments elsewhere in the world mean the 95g limit may now be too weak to safeguard the EU’s leadership on fuel-efficient cars.

MEPs urged to end EU’s ‘deafening silence’ on traffic noise

The fight against traffic noise is being directed at MEPs, as the European Parliament’s environment committee prepares for a vital vote in July. T&E and two other Brussels-based NGOs have published an internet video highlighting the problem, while a report for T&E published last month showed the benefits of ambitious vehicle noise legislation would outweigh the costs by 30 times.

EU-wide car labelling

Fuel efficiency chart (credit: LowCVP.org)

A new study has recommended Europe should have a single fuel economy and carbon dioxide labelling system for cars. The study by the British consultancy AEA looked at the labelling systems in operation in eight member states, and found some compare a car with the whole car market while others show only how it compares with others of the same type. It says comparisons against the whole of the available car fleet are likely to be more useful in the absence of further research. Another report in 2010 also recommended a harmonised approach to labelling.

Study highlights disadvantages of time-based car ‘vignettes’

Of the seven EU countries to have a ‘vignette’ tax system for cars, Hungary has the best and Slovenia the worst. That’s the finding of a study for the Commission that has looked at the seven existing systems as it is soon to publish draft guidelines for governments on minimum standards for vignettes.

Head of Europe’s car parts suppliers accuses German car makers of ‘greed’

Differences are emerging between car makers and the suppliers of car parts over the EU’s efforts to fight climate change. While the car makers are continuing to oppose the EU’s proposed 2020 average carbon dioxide emissions limit of 95 grams per kilometre, the parts suppliers believe the target is easily achievable. The head of Europe’s umbrella organisation representing car parts suppliers has accused Germany’s car industry of ‘greed’ and ‘milking the cow dry’.

Expert support for stricter vehicle noise emissions standards

Sketch of some documents (default image for news

A group of noise expert has written to the Commission in order to encourage it to take tighten measures on traffic noise levels, especially vehicle noise, which have severe health impacts. They stressed the importance of having stricter standards on noise emissions in a very short time, as well as the rapidity with which vehicle producers can comply to them in a quite short time.

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