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Industry, Cities and T&E's letter on electrification of transport within EU's Energy Union

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

Ahead of its discussion on the EU’s key priorities for the next decade, seven stakeholder organisations from industry, transport and cities wrote to the College of the European Commission regarding the creation of a European Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy. They called on the commissioners to focus on the transport sector, which represents about a third of the EU’s overall energy consumption and is almost exclusively dependent on imported fossil fuels.

Green light for lorries redesign but only after 2022

Representatives of EU governments have signed off on a deal that will put an end to brick-shaped lorry designs and clear the way for advances in fuel efficiency and safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The agreement allows lorrymakers to produce new designs but the truck industry secured a ban until 2022 even though the new designs are voluntary, not mandatory.

Ships’ energy performance to be measured for first time

All shipping companies calling at EU ports will, for the first time, have to measure and publicly report ships’ energy performance, including carbon emissions, under a law approved by the European Parliament’s environment committee and EU environment ministers. But the regulation, which still requires the support of the Parliament plenary, only monitors fuel consumption instead of directly reducing it, and only covers CO2 and not air pollutants like SO2 or NOx.

Companies’ ‘green tape’ fear exaggerated

New research from the OECD suggests stricter environmental policies do not hold back economic growth, and that governments and companies are often wrong to claim that measures to tackle environmental threats will damage economic competitiveness through imposing a burden of ‘green tape’.

France moves against diesel

France has set itself on course to displace diesel as the preferred fuel for private cars, with the prime minister describing French pro-diesel transport policy as ‘a mistake’ and announcing financial incentives to replace the country’s extensive diesel car fleet in order to tackle air pollution. The mayor of Paris has also announced plans to largely ban diesel cars, buses and trucks from the city by 2020.

T&E welcomes common rules to enable smarter road tolls in Europe

Earlier this week, Violeta Bulc, the EU’s head of transport, announced plans to develop a Europe-wide scheme to charge lorries and cars for using roads. Bulc clarified that the scheme would be optional, meaning that countries like the UK could opt out if they want to. The Transport Commissioner also stressed that the amount of the fee should be based exclusively on the distance driven and should not be time-dependent, which would bolster more efficient use of roads.

What a good resolution to the biofuels reform would look like

This blogpost was first published as a comment by EurActiv.This week, the proposal to reform EU biofuels policy is back on the European Parliament’s agenda for the second reading, starting with a discussion about MEP Nils Torvalds’ recommendation, and a vote in the environment committee on 24 February.

IMO progress on black carbon in Arctic ‘welcome but long overdue’

The decision at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to recommend to its environment committee a definition of black carbon arrived at by scientific consensus, after four years of debate, has been welcomed by environmental NGO Transport & Environment. Lack of agreement at sub-committee level had been holding up technical work to calibrate and test black carbon measurement methods that could be used to evaluate control measures as well as monitoring and engine certification technology.

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