Leaked plans by car and truckmakers to cut carbon emissions of their vehicles in Europe – by resurfacing all roads in the EU at a cost of more than €520 billion – have been criticised as an abdication of the sector’s climate responsibility. Industry body ACEA’s ‘Joining forces’ initiative calls for greater efficiencies through major investments such as in lower rolling resistance tarmac, but fails to identify new CO2 standards for vehicles.
Over what distances is it realistic to expect people to commute by bicycle? And what if that bicycle offers electrically assisted pedalling? These are the questions being researched by Bram Rotthier, an academic at a university in the Belgian city of Leuven. Rotthier has commissioned 15 cyclists to test commuting distances, one of whom is a Green politician who is cycling around 100km per day on a ‘speed pedelec’, an electric bicycle capable of up to 45 km/h.
Shipowners and operators have told the UN’s International Maritime Organisation that the shipping industry should adopt an emissions reduction pledge like countries have done under the Paris climate agreement. It’s the first time the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called for mandated reductions in shipping CO2, though it ruled out binding targets and didn’t suggest a concrete timeline of action.
A new ‘EcoAlmanac’ highlighting the sides of ‘clean’ energy that are not always publicised has been launched by T&E’s Romanian member, 2Celsius Network. The online book is aimed at countering false and dubious claims about fuels which may be good for big business in eastern Europe but are not always beneficial for people and the environment.
Last week was a big week in the history of T&E, in the history of policymaking in our area, and even, to a certain extent, in the history of the EU. That may sound a bit pompous so I will explain.
Europe’s largest association of car drivers, the German ADAC, has said a 75g per km CO2 emissions limit for new cars from 2025 would be consistent with current trends. The ADAC also said so-called ‘supercredits’ for makers of low-emission vehicles do nothing to reduce overall climate changing emissions.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has attempted to explain why the EU’s current emissions testing system for new cars is giving readings that are very different from emissions in real-life driving.