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Realistic real-world driving emissions tests: a last chance for diesel cars?

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Air pollution emissions limits for cars, vans and trucks (Euro Standards) have been progressively tightened, on paper, over 25 years but have failed to deliver real-world improvements for several key pollutants, notably nitrogen dioxide. This is because obsolete tests and “cycle beating” techniques have been used by carmakers leading to levels of emissions from some cars many times higher on the road than in laboratory tests. In October 2014, the Commission will be discussing progress and next steps with EU member states. This paper outlines key issues for member states to ensure that the new real-world (PEMS) tests are robust and representative of real-world driving in order for emissions to decline on the road. 

If sustainability and the protection of our environment are everybody's responsibilities, why are they part of nobody's mission letter?

T&E's reaction to European Parliament's hearing of Commissioner-designate for Environment Mr Karmenu Vella. Today’s two-hour grilling of Commissioner-designate for Environment Mr Karmenu Vella revealed how critically important 'Green 10' demands are for anchoring sustainability higher in the Commission’s organisational chart. A first, important move will be to give one Vice-President the formal responsibility for sustainability, stressing the need for a VP to be held accountable for delivering sustainable development. 

EU law to boost alternative fuels infrastructure is ‘dead letter’, NGO says

The Council of the EU today passed the infrastructure for alternative fuels law, failing to boost the development of a low-carbon European transport network. The enacted law drops all binding targets for electric charging points or hydrogen. Transport & Environment has said the law is a ‘dead letter’ because it will do nothing to set a level playing field for alternative fuels to fairly compete with oil in transport energy, and called for a broad strategy for clean e-mobility.

Reduced-blind-spot lorries to save hundreds of lives – study

Redesigning lorry cabs to reduce blind spots could save hundreds of cyclists’ and pedestrians’ lives every year, according to a new study by a design research team. It found a ‘direct vision’ lorry concept would increase the driver’s field of view in front and to the sides of the lorry by 50% compared to today’s lorries.

Denmark pushing to include transport in ETS

The Danish government has asked EU leaders to consider including transport in the emissions trading system (ETS) when they discuss climate and energy targets at a European Council later this month. Campaigners say such a move would actually be counterproductive to reducing emissions in the sector and do nothing to strengthen the ETS.

Diesel machines law will cause more pollution and health problems

Large diesel-powered equipment that emits black carbon and contributes to climate change and air pollution will not have to limit emissions of ultrafine particulate matter (PM) under a new law proposed by the European Commission today. Transport & Environment said the law would encourage the use of bigger generating equipment that causes more pollution and health problems.

Investigating the (length) constraints imposed by the Front Underrun Protection Regulation

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Transport & Environment contributed to a European Commission expert group considering the appropriate technical requirements if the maximum length of goods vehicles were to be increased to permit safer and more aerodynamic designs. T&E commissioned this report by Apollo Vehicle Safety to assess: the extent to which the Front Underrun Protection Regulation (UNECE R93) constrains the maximum length of cabs; what the implications would be if it needed amendment; and whether alternative regulatory approaches could allow a length increase without amending R93 or compromising safety.

Airlines ‘must end cheap travel’ to fulfil climate pledge

The era of cheap air travel must end if the airline industry is to cap its greenhouse gas emissions, a new study has found. The research indicates that unless plane ticket prices rise by at least 1.4% a year, efforts to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be outweighed by the growth in passengers.

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