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Diesel emissions cause cancer

The World Health Organisation says exposure to exhaust emissions from diesel engines definitely increases the possibility of tumours. The WHO has previously said diesel exhausts were ‘probably’ carcinogenic, but now a WHO body, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, says it is definitely a cause of lung and possibly of bladder tumours.

Commission deals with tar sands problem by ordering impact study

The Commission is postponing a decision on how to assess the climatic impact of non-conventional sources of transport fuel such as tar sands and oil shale. A decision was expected in June, but Brussels has ordered an assessment of the impact of giving high-carbon sources a higher climate rating, which means no final judgement will be made until next year. The postponement came just days after T&E published a study saying reducing greenhouse gas emissions from petrol and diesel production will cost less to administer than the oil industry says.

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.

Opposition that risks having no clean future for liquid transport fuels

Jos Dings, Director T&E

Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E director
People who follow our work – and Europe’s environmental policy – a little bit will have noticed that two fuels-related draft laws keep dragging on without any apparent progress. The first one is what to do about indirect land use change effects of biofuels (key words: Iluc, biodiesel). The second is whether or not to give petrol and diesel from unconventional fossil sources a higher lifecycle greenhouse gas default value (key words: fuel quality directive, tar sands).

‘This must be the most researched subject in the EU’s history!’

Two new reports are expected to put more pressure on the Commission over its biofuels policy. Both add to the growing bank of evidence that under current policies, changes in land use caused by growing biofuels crops will wipe out the climate benefits of using certain biofuels, especially in the case of biodiesel.

MEPs vote to clean up air pollution from shipping

Efforts to remove one of the main causes of air pollution and acid rain from shipping have been boosted by a vote in the European Parliament. MEPs on the environment committee have approved draft rules to reduce the sulphur content of marine fuels. The changes now have to be confirmed by environment ministers and by the full Parliament.

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