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EU unveils distance-based road charging plan

Plans to develop a Europe-wide road-charging scheme have been unveiled by EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bluc. The charging of cars and lorries for road use based on distance driven would be optional, allowing member states to not participate if they did not wish to.

EU Energy Union: good intentions, short on specifics, backtracking on trucks

The European Commission’s Energy Union strategy for cleaner cars and electrification of transport is welcome but the removal of CO2 standards for trucks and buses is a disappointing concession to special interests, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment has said. The inclusion of aviation and shipping in the 2030 reduction commitment – which covers all sectors and sources of emissions – is now clear, and the call for the Paris climate conference to set a 2016 deadline for action by ICAO and IMO is timely.

Paris: Don’t leave out planes and ships

This blogpost was first published in EurActiv.The UNFCCC negotiating text took an important step forward last week with the inclusion in the text of wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees.

MEPs must separate cream of biofuels crop from the rest

Last week another study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) said that biofuels are not a green alternative to fossil fuels for two reasons. First, producing food or even non-edible crops for fuels is an inefficient use of land – turning solar radiation into non-food energy in plants takes a hell of a lot of land for a small amount of liquid fuel. Second, biofuels production increases competition for land, which is either needed to preserve ecosystems that host biodiversity and store carbon or to produce enough food to feed the growing population.

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