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Same old, same old for ‘new’ Investment Court System to rule on EU-US trade deal

The European Commission’s proposed Investment Court System for the EU-US trade deal is a largely cosmetic rebranding, civil society groups have said, giving special privileges to foreign investors and undermining national and EU legal systems. The ‘new’ proposal keeps these major flaws of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) intact – while the court’s establishment and running would be paid for by European taxpayers, according to sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) and environmental law organisation ClientEarth.

Investors' call for on-the-road tests shows need for EU oversight

Institutional investors with a total of €12 trillion of assets under management have called for EU policymakers to restore confidence in Europe's car emissions testing regime by introducing on-the-road testing for CO2 emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment said it highlights the importance of ending the systematic manipulation of car testing, and that this can only be achieved by establishing effective oversight of the EU car testing system – as announced by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday.

EU-oversight of car testing will stop cheaters and deliver emissions reductions on the road

Transport & Environment (T&E) warmly welcomes the announcement by Commission President Juncker that the European Commission will introduce an effective oversight of the EU system for testing cars.

VW’s latest admission exposes more of the 'iceberg'

In the last few days several announcements have demonstrated how the initial exposure of Volkswagen’s cheating US tests is merely the tip of an iceberg of test manipulation. In the US more models, including models from Porsche, have been accused of having illegal levels of diesel NOx emissions. This was followed by VW admitting that it overstated fuel economy and CO2 figures by 10-15% on 800,000 vehicles, including petrol cars. In a further announcement, the environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany, DUH) exposed suspicious test results on an Opel Zafira. General Motors deny any wrongdoing.

Obama stops Arctic oil drilling – for now

The Obama administration has blocked any new drilling permits for oil in the Arctic for the next two years, and refused requests to extend existing drilling permits. The decision follows Shell’s abandonment of Arctic drilling in September and could signal the end of the threat of oil exploration in the delicate Arctic ecosystem.

MEPs call for mandatory eco-driving meters

MEPs have voted for mandatory fuel consumption meters on all new cars from 2019 – tightening the Commission’s original proposal on eliminating the discrepancy between emissions in test conditions and those in real-world driving, which omitted fuel consumption meters. The European Parliament’s environment committee said the proposal didn’t do enough to reduce fuel use, and last month it voted for indicators to be obligatory on all new models from 2018 and on all new cars from 1 January 2019.

Sustainable development and environment in TTIP

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

Nearly three decades after they were first proposed, the pillars of sustainable development are still absent from the EU’s trade policy. Sustainable development is included in the EU’s trade strategies, negotiations and agreements — but in name only. The current approach still falls short of real commitment and ambition. In this study, T&E and ClientEarth have identified nine remedies ranging from meaningful enforcement and dispute-settlement to the inclusion of sustainable development provisions in every aspect of agreements. The EU has an ambitious list of open negotiations — the opportunity is ripe for an updated approach that truly integrates sustainable development and trade.

Governments double and delay air pollution limits for diesel cars

EU governments have agreed to new limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars that are double the ‘Euro 6’ levels agreed back in 2007. They have also delayed the implementation of new limits for all new cars until 2019. From 2021, all new cars will still be allowed to emit 50% more NOx than the Euro 6 limit of 80mg/km.