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.
Progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport is too slow for the EU to meet its long-term goal on cutting transport’s contribution to climate change.
The 28 EU governments and the European Parliament last night reached a deal to end brick-shaped lorries, which are inefficient and very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. The agreed law gives manufacturers the ability to produce more streamlined, safer and fuel-efficient lorries but, amid heavy lobbying by industry, sets a delay until 2022  before redesigned lorry cabs are allowed on Europe’s roads. Member State representatives still need to formally approve the deal at a COREPER meeting on December 17th.
The Juncker Commission has been in office for a month now. I can’t resist a bit of early stocktaking, but I will also look ahead.
Europe needs a strategy to shift taxes away from labour towards pollution and resource consumption in order to boost innovation and create jobs, according to a new pressure group being set up in Brussels by T&E and other environmental organisations.
Transport & Environment director Jos Dings addressed a hearing in the European Parliament on 4 November, 2014. He laid out T&E's position on European road toll systems for private vehicles, including environmental, financial, technical and privacy concerns. His remarks are available to download.
On 1 November, some key provisions of the Lisbon Treaty enter into force: namely, the root-and-branch reform of the voting weights of member states in the Council of Ministers. Their impact will be quite dramatic.
Spain has announced a €27 billion investment in 43 greenhouse gas reduction measures designed to meet its EU burden sharing obligations and create 45,000 jobs per year. But environmental groups say the proposals do not go far enough.
EU heads of state today agreed three modest climate and green energy targets for 2030 , which lack the ambition needed to put Europe on track to meet its own 2050 climate commitments  and will not do enough to cut dependence on fossil fuels. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) says that now targets have been agreed, all eyes should turn towards implementation: the means and policies to achieve these 2030 targets can still make a big difference for the climate and the transition to a low-carbon economy where transport is crucial.
In the two European Parliament hearings, which were clearly designed to avoid undue controversy, both Commissioners-designate Maroš Šefčovič and Violeta Bulc displayed a good grasp of their briefs but stayed clear of strong statements, let alone concrete commitments.