The European Commission is coming under increasing pressure to propose new car fuel economy targets for 2025 after news that carmakers which account for three-quarters of sales in Europe are on track to meet their goals for 2021.
Electric vehicle (EV) sales grew to 67,000 vehicles in 2014, up from just 700 in 2010, which T&E’s analysis found was partly the result of more major car companies offering EV models in the market. However, they still only represent 0.5% of the total annual sales, in part as a result of limited supply of models (just 20 are available). Some manufacturers – most notably Ford and Fiat – are not supplying any models.
While new cars sold in 2014 averaged CO2 emissions of 123g/km, according to the How Cleans are Europe's cars 2015? report, real-world emissions are much higher and reductions in CO2 are happening considerably slower than depicted. Now T&E is warning that the cheating will continue to undermine progress even after a new test, the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP), is introduced.
The EU is facing calls to work with the US government to ensure global standards being developed to regulate aviation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are effective – after the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) finding last month that emissions from aircraft endanger human health.
Bioenergy accounted for more than half of all renewable energy demand in Europe in 2014, according to projections just released by the European Commission. Burning biomass and biofuels account for 47% and 9%, respectively, of renewable energy, versus 11% from wind, 17% from hydro and 7% from solar.
A court in the Netherlands has ruled for the first time anywhere that the government must take further action to curb climate-changing emissions. The Dutch government must cut Holland's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 25% by 2020, the district court of The Hague ordered last month.
France has launched its new air pollution categorisation scheme for cars, with a strong emphasis in favour of electric vehicles over diesel. But the effectiveness of the scheme could be limited by the fact that it is only voluntary, and it is uncertain how many benefits will result for those with the cleanest cars.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that countries will need to be more ambitious if they want a meaningful agreement on fighting global warming at this year’s crucial climate change conference in Paris. The IEA has also issued a strong social commentary: that most fossil fuel subsidies intended to help the poorest members of society do not reach these people.
Air pollution is costing more than $160 billion (€143 billion) a year in lost productivity, according to new data released by the World Bank. The data also show that air pollution has its greatest impact in poorer countries.