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German green NGO says car bosses ‘personally responsible’ for deaths

Just days before the Volkswagen scandal became public, environmental campaigners in Germany confronted Angela Merkel with the message ‘Diesel exhausts kill’ as the German chancellor opened the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the largest car show in Europe. The message was presented via a 13-metre-long blow-up car with its own cloud of exhaust fumes, designed to highlight the finding that most new diesel cars fail air quality standards they should have met by 1 September.

T&E first highlighted test manipulation 17 years ago

The impact of the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal has centred on the shock that a leading and profitable car company from a country with a strong environmental record had been using specialist software to manipulate test results. But T&E has been warning about discrepancies between published fuel-consumption data (which come from official test results) and ‘real-world’ driving conditions for 17 years.

‘The US discovering this is really embarrassing’

The Volkswagen test-rigging scandal has been roundly cited as an embarrassment for regulators in Europe because it took an American regulator to highlight blatant malpractice by a European company. The discomfort is heightened by the fact that diesel cars make up a tiny percentage of the market in the US – about 3% – but they account for about 50% of sales in Europe. EU regulators were also informed at the same time as those in the US by the International Council on Clean Transportation but took no action.

How to regulate better in transport... in four ‘easy’ steps

Better regulation. Who would not want to win this most elusive of prizes for the art of governing? As far back as 2002 (at least, that’s as far as our memory goes back) the Commission has been saying it does. You can argue over whether it has been sincere. At least this Commission has been honest; Juncker himself settled the debate by declaring it’s about less regulation. How naive we were to think it was about quality not quantity.

Truck fuel-economy standards needed, says German environment agency

Germany’s federal environment agency, UBA, has backed calls for truck fuel efficiency standards, saying ‘a much more intensive discussion about CO2 standards for heavy goods vehicles’ and ‘ambitious regulation’ are required. Citing ever-greater volumes of goods being transported by road and the trend towards more powerful and heavier vehicles, the agency said the transport sector must step up its efforts on climate action.

€42.5m Irish airport state-aid a ‘waste of scarce public money’

EU approval of Ireland’s €42.5 million in state aid to small regional airports has been criticised for allowing public money to prop up underutilised infrastructure with questionable social and economic benefits. Four airports will receive the grants over the next four years – while the Irish government faces calls to address ‘chronic’ underinvestment in low-carbon public transport.

Aviation industry 12 years off 2020 fuel efficiency target

Promised fuel efficiency gains by the aviation industry are far off-track and will meet the UN aviation body ICAO’s goal of improving 2% a year by 2020 some 12 years late. The average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by just 1.1% a year since 2010, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT).

France gifting €1bn a year in aviation subsidies – study

The French government, which hosts this year’s critical COP21 climate change conference, is losing around €1 billion a year in revenue because it exempts domestic air transport from energy and carbon taxation. The figure comes from a study on foregone tax revenues from aviation commissioned by T&E member Climate Action Network France (RAC-France).

Transport consuming most energy in developed world

Transport is the greatest consumer of energy in the developed world, consuming more than industry, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found for the second consecutive year. In the EU, transport still lags behind industry in total final energy consumption, but the gap is narrowing, and road transport’s continued reliance on oil is making the sector increasingly slow to embrace lower-emission energy.