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First climate change commissioner targets lorries and cars for emissions cuts

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The EU’s new climate change commissioner is promising an initiative on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from lorries, and says the existing agreement to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars could be tightened to provide greater incentives to car makers.

EU prepares for unilateral shipping action

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Plans for the EU to set greenhouse gas emission limits for ships using EU ports moved a step closer last month when the Commission published a new report looking at various ways of charging for maritime emissions. It concludes that emissions trading is the best and most feasible way of providing a financial incentive for reducing shipping's contribution to global warming.

Electric cars will only work with 'green' power

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The conditions under which electric vehicles could play a significant role in reducing climate changing emissions from transport have been set out in a new study for T&E and two other environmental NGOs. It says the source of the power for electric cars is crucial to their potential to fight climate change.

EU's climate influence extends beyond treaties

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Editorial by Jos Dings, T&E Director

Judging from press coverage of the Copenhagen climate summit, it was not just a disaster for the climate, but also for the EU. Many commentators said that the way the final deal was worked out, with the US and China basically ignoring the EU, was the final proof of the utter irrelevance of the EU on the world stage.

Care needed over rail claims

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A new study has suggested that investing in high-speed rail can bring various benefits, but should not be marketed as a major part of efforts to combat climate change. The study, 'The Future of Interurban Passenger Transport' by the Swedish transport economist Per Kågeson, calculates the effect on emissions from building a new high speed line connecting two major cities 500 kilometres apart. It says there is no reason to prohibit investment in high-speed rail on environmental grounds as long as the carbon gains outweigh the emissions during construction, but the greenhouse gas savings are sufficiently small that it would be wrong to justify such investment as a solution to climate change.

Commission withholding key research on environmental impacts of biofuels

The European Commission is refusing to release scientific research on EU biofuel policies, frustrating efforts to bring to light the environmental damage that would result from current biofuel policies. The research is likely to confirm the findings of numerous scientific studies that show several types of biofuels cause more emissions than conventional fossil fuels (1).