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Germany backs binding energy efficiency target

Germany is arguing for the EU to tighten its target to cut energy consumption, in a bid to ease dependence on Russian gas. According to documents quoted by the Financial Times newspaper, Germany has called on the EU to set a binding target for energy efficiency to offer the ‘right impetus’ to overhaul Europe’s energy infrastructure.

Is combined transport working?

The Commission is consulting on whether EU rules on combined transport are working or need updating. Combined transport – which is generally taken to mean freight movements that are largely by rail or water but with the start and end by road – is regulated by an EU directive dating from 1992. It aims to promote combined transport through reducing restrictions, eliminating authorisation procedures, and offering financial support through fiscal incentives for certain combined transport operations.

Lorries: 21st-century fleet or dinosaurs on our roads?

Driving Europe’s transport industry in a more sustainable direction is a formidable challenge, not least because it means a fairly fundamental change in the way fairly large industries do their business. It is in the DNA of these industries to resist change forced upon them by politicians. Carmakers oppose CO2 standards that make them fit clean tech to their cars, the aviation and shipping industries oppose doing their share and of course oil companies fight any kind of change that could end our addiction to their products.

95g carbon target within carmakers’ reach – report

Most European carmakers are on track to meet their CO2 targets by the 2021 deadline, T&E’s 2014 cars and CO2 report has indicated. Five of Europe’s seven major car manufacturing companies will have fleet average emissions of 95 grams of CO2 per km or less if they keep progressing as they have since the introduction of the law in 2008.

Governments want 8-year prohibition of safer lorries

EU transport ministers will this week decide whether to approve changing the design rules for lorry cabins which will make them safer and more fuel efficient. Last month, governments reached a provisional agreement on the changes but set a delay of eight years before redesigned lorry cabs can be produced in Europe.

Netherlands and Germany fine foreign airlines over ETS

Germany has been joined by the Netherlands in enforcement against airlines for breaching EU emissions-trading rules. The Dutch authority is to charge a Chinese airline an administrative fine for failing to submit an annual emissions report for 2012. The same airline also faces a €100 per tonne of CO2 fine for not surrendering carbon allowances, according to a report in ENDS Europe.

Shell in top 3 of gamblers in high-risk tar sands investments

Shell ranked third in the list of oil companies with the largest exposure to high-cost, high-carbon tar sands production, according to a new report. The analysis found that Shell has almost $26 billion (€19 billion) in planned investments in tar sands extraction for the next decade, which will only see a return if the barrel of oil costs more than $95 – a price tag that assumes world governments won’t fulfil their pledge to tackle global warming and strong oil demand.

Does throwing money at buyers help sales of electric cars?

Norway and the Netherlands are the world’s leading countries for electric car use, but also the countries that spend most money making e-vehicles attractive to buyers. These are the findings of a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) on the take-up of electric vehicles. T&E says the report shows that money alone will not grow the electric car market.

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