Road transport is again dragging down efforts to reduce air pollution across the EU. The latest report on compliance with the directive that sets National Emissions Ceilings for four pollutants shows 10 countries and the EU as a whole failing on nitrogen oxides emissions, largely because road transport is failing to deliver expected cuts.
Transport use in non-OECD countries is expected to grow by about five times between 2000 and 2050, according to ‘Transport Outlook 2011’, a report by the International Transport Forum.
The climate on limiting the speed of vans appears to be changing. Following a survey last year that showed Germans are in favour of limiting the top speed of vans, a survey in Italy has come to similar conclusions. T&E has called on the Commission to show more speed in preparing its proposals for van speed limiters.
By Jos Dings
We always felt the economic crisis, with its associated scarcity of public money, could bring about more than just misery. We thought it could be the trigger for positive reforms towards more sustainable transport. And there are now signs that things are slowly starting to move in this direction.
Letters published by the Commission show that the former EU enterprise commissioner Günter Verheugen intervened to help the German sports car maker Porsche during discussions on an EU carbon dioxide limit for new cars.
A leading MEP has asked the Commission to stop Poland spending €1.2 billion of cohesion fund money on roads which has been given for improving rail transport.
The Commission has published its long awaited white paper on the future of the common transport policy. Instead of being a policy outline for the next decade, it is presented more as a strategy for transport in 2050. T&E criticised it as ‘a manifesto for inaction’, while Greenpeace said it ‘blatantly passes the buck to future generations’.
France is to launch a pilot programme for the introduction of Low Emissions Zones. The test phase of the zones, known in French as ZAPA, will involve eight cities: Lyon, Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand, Aix-en-Provence, St Denis, Paris, Nice and Bordeaux.
Most Europeans are prepared to compromise on the price and features of their car if doing so will reduce harmful emissions. That is the finding of a new Eurobarometer survey conducted in all 27 EU member states.
A report for the European Parliament’s environment committee says EU budget subsidies in transport, energy and other areas should be removed because they can be environmentally harmful.