The European Commission is taking legal action against the UK over claims it is exceeding limits on air pollution from traffic. Britain has two months to respond to the case that it breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, which cause breathing and other health problems.
MEP and Rapporteur, Jörg Leichtfried, today proposed changes to an EU lorry law that would ensure that all lorries, including city trucks, become safer, saving the lives of hundreds of cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers in Europe’s cities. Members of the European Parliament’s transport committee debated Leichtfried’s plans to fix the Commission's incomplete proposal that would make EU lorries safer, cleaner and cheaper to run.
The French government has delayed by three months the introduction of its distance-based eco-tax on lorries. The tax was to have come into effect on 1 October, but has been put back to the start of 2014. The French transport minister blamed technical difficulties, but one of T&E’s French members – France Nature Environnement – said this is just the latest in a series of delaying tactics by hauliers and shippers who want the tax either delayed indefinitely or severely watered down. The eco-tax, which will apply to lorries over 3.5 tonnes using about 15,000km of main roads that are not part of the tolled Péage network, is expected to earn the French government €1.2 billion a year – which means the three-month delay will cost it around €300 million.
This paper is a response from Transport & Environment to the ‘Consultation on structural options to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System’ (ETS) by the European Commission. The response focuses on the fourth (‘d’) of six options proposed – extension of the scope of the ETS to other sectors - with a special focus on extending the scope of the ETS to road transport. T&E strongly opposes this idea, as it will not deliver economic benefits and will seriously jeopardise emissions reductions in transport.
"The role of the Commission in advancing the road pricing agenda cannot be underestimated", T&E Director Jos Dings stated at the Conference on fair and efficient road pricing organised by the European Commission on 5 Dec:
Road pricing is progressing because the list of its advantages is impressive. No wonder ever more countries in Europe are choosing for road user charging, and we are having a conference about its future.