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.
‘Climate change is no longer only an environmental issue but a health issue as well.’ That was the message from the head of the World Health Organisation’s climate change team at the start of a conference last month aimed at putting health at the heart of forthcoming international negotiations on reducing greenhouse gases.
Transport & Environment and the other members of the Green 10, the alliance of leading environmental NGOs at EU level, wrote to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to express our grave concerns over the direction the EU seems to be taking with the announcement of his new college of Commissioners.
100,000 submissions to a public consultation is a lot on any subject, and particularly when the subject is the finer points of a proposed international trade deal. But having been extended for a week, the signs are that the European Commission’s public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has attracted a number of responses that could be in this region. It closed on Sunday, July 13th.
This is the second part of T&E’s annual Cars and CO2 report that examines developments in new car CO2 emissions. This part is focused on electric cars.Analysis of provisional cars sales data in 2013 supplied by the European Environment Agency shows the market for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow strongly from a low base. Sales have approximately doubled annually since production vehicles were first marketed in 2010. In 2013, nearly 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold in the EU representing around 0.4% of all cars.
The European Commission has come under renewed pressure to drop investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) from a trade deal with the US after receiving a record 150,000 responses in a public consultation on the controversial clause.
The EU and the US are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free-trade agreement, which would be the world’s largest. Recently the pressure on the EU to weaken the Fuel Quality Directive has increased notably and oil companies and refiners have found in/with TTIP a new lobby vehicle to attack the FQD. Find out more in this briefing.
T&E strongly disagrees with the European Commission objectives and approach in relation to the inclusion of investment protection in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) through the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. We believe that the proposed reforms will not solve any fundamental flaws of ISDS, and in our view, they never can, since the whole concept of ISDS undermines the rule of law by bypassing regular courts. Hence, ISDS should be excluded from TTIP and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.
Germany is arguing for the EU to tighten its target to cut energy consumption, in a bid to ease dependence on Russian gas. According to documents quoted by the Financial Times newspaper, Germany has called on the EU to set a binding target for energy efficiency to offer the ‘right impetus’ to overhaul Europe’s energy infrastructure.