The Commission should make a meaningful proposal this year for the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport. That is the message delivered by 15 NGOs to the EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard and five other commissioners in a letter dated 23 March, which specifically offers help in drawing up a proposal.
Editorial by Jos Dings, T&E Director
If you listen carefully through the cacophony surrounding the inclusion of aviation in Europe’s Emissions Trading System, there is progress. Important progress.The verdict of the European Court of Justice cleared the legal hurdle, which even more clearly exposes this fight for what it really is: a political power struggle between the most important economic blocs on the planet.
The Commission has suggested four ways of tackling greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, and has opened a public consultation. The consultation follows the failure of the IMO to agree measures for ships already in operation by the EU's 31-December deadline.
A new paper from the OECD on efficient taxation says raising the importance of property taxation and environmental levies is vital for improving government finances.
by Magnus Nilsson, T&E Senior Campaigner
Raising taxes on fossil fuels is pretty much the only climate policy tool that in all circumstances delivers real emission reductions. Telling people that the cost of petrol and diesel will have to rise may be a difficult message for politicians to put across, but if this method is rejected or not possible, climate policy will simply become unnecessarily costly.
The French government is reducing its subsidies for people buying fuel-efficient cars but is increasing penalties for buyers of high-consumption vehicles.
The Belgian government is putting up taxes on company cars in a package that will bring in around €200 million a year.
Portugal has included the last 600 kilometres of motorways in its toll system, which means that all the country’s motorways are now tolled for all vehicles.
The Commission is taking legal action against the British and French governments for failure to allow competition through the Channel Tunnel.