The city of Paris imposed a partial ban on cars and lorries for one day last month as air pollution reached dangerous levels across western Europe.
Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.
Plans to develop a Europe-wide road-charging scheme have been unveiled by EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bluc. The charging of cars and lorries for road use based on distance driven would be optional, allowing member states to not participate if they did not wish to.
Sales of electric cars are on the rise, but still make up a tiny proportion of the overall car fleet, according to the latest motor industry sales figures.
A new local air quality law, which was passed after years of pressure by groups in T&E’s network, has already seen a marked reduction in pollution.
Pressure is mounting on the Commission to bring in more realistic emissions tests for new cars after an Italian consumer organisation launched legal proceedings against Fiat and Volkswagen’s Italian office.
The Commission has said a number of EU member states could be making more and better use of environmental taxation.
Countries with the lowest CO2 emissions from new cars usually have registration and company car taxes which are strongly graduated according to CO2 emissions and have the greatest influence on car buyers’ choices, T&E’s latest How Clean are Europe’s cars report has found.
Three Belgian NGOs have handed in a petition to the country’s federal parliament aimed at getting the Belgian government to end its favourable treatment of company cars. The three NGOs, including T&E member Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL), collected 25,000 signatures protesting about a fiscal regime in Belgium that makes it more lucrative for employers to pay their staff through company cars and company fuel than by giving them more money.