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European carmakers confronted with ‘end of diesel’

The Dieselgate scandal has prompted European car manufacturers to rethink their commitment to diesel and this week Volkswagen announced plans to intensify development of electric cars and plug-in hybrids. It may also have smaller vehicles use petrol instead of diesel. Yet European carmakers’ industry body ACEA has warned against jeopardising diesel, ‘one of the key pillars for fulfilling future CO2 targets’.

German green NGO says car bosses ‘personally responsible’ for deaths

Just days before the Volkswagen scandal became public, environmental campaigners in Germany confronted Angela Merkel with the message ‘Diesel exhausts kill’ as the German chancellor opened the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the largest car show in Europe. The message was presented via a 13-metre-long blow-up car with its own cloud of exhaust fumes, designed to highlight the finding that most new diesel cars fail air quality standards they should have met by 1 September.

T&E first highlighted test manipulation 17 years ago

The impact of the Volkswagen emissions rigging scandal has centred on the shock that a leading and profitable car company from a country with a strong environmental record had been using specialist software to manipulate test results. But T&E has been warning about discrepancies between published fuel-consumption data (which come from official test results) and ‘real-world’ driving conditions for 17 years.

‘The US discovering this is really embarrassing’

The Volkswagen test-rigging scandal has been roundly cited as an embarrassment for regulators in Europe because it took an American regulator to highlight blatant malpractice by a European company. The discomfort is heightened by the fact that diesel cars make up a tiny percentage of the market in the US – about 3% – but they account for about 50% of sales in Europe. EU regulators were also informed at the same time as those in the US by the International Council on Clean Transportation but took no action.

MEPs call for reduction target on aviation and shipping emissions in Paris deal

MEPs today called on the EU and all other countries at this year’s Paris climate summit to ensure a requirement is included for reducing emissions from international aviation and shipping. Parliamentarians called for emissions reduction targets for both sectors to be set before the end of 2016 by the corresponding UN agencies, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Letter to EU Ministers and Climate Commissioner on omission of bunkers from draft Paris agreement

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

In this letter, T&E and 16 other groups highlight the absence of emissions from international aviation and shipping from the draft Paris COP21 agreement. they call on EU Ministers for climate change and Commissioner Arias Cañete to act immediately with other states to ensure that the language in previous drafts on aviation and shipping emissions is reinstated.

NGO recommendations for upstream emissions reductions in the Fuel Quality Directive

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

The recently adopted implementing rules for the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) include the possibility for fuel suppliers to use upstream emissions reductions (UERs) to reach the 6% decarbonisation target. This briefing contains T&E's recommendations for European Commission guidelines on UERs under the FQD. It outlines how the rules are vague and, without robust guidance by the European Commission and restrictions by member states, there is a risk of double counted and non-additional offset credits being used for compliance, seriously undermining the FQD’s effectiveness.

Paris could leave aviation and shipping fuel tax-free and climate target-free

The aviation and shipping sectors are set to be exempt from targeted CO2 emissions cuts in the December Paris climate agreement, according to the latest draft deal. This is an irresponsible U-turn, say environmental groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment. CO2 emissions from the two sectors are set to grow by up to 250% by 2050, making attempts to limit global warming to 2°C all but impossible.