A leading Green MEP has questioned whether sponsorship of the EU presidency by Audi and BMW could represent a conflict of interest. The German luxury carmakers provided free cars to EU member states that were responsible for leading policy negotiations over new carbon emissions targets.
MEPs this week voted to approve rail reforms that would harmonise technical specifications and create a single EU-wide authorisation procedure for rail stock. However, the European Parliament diluted the Commission’s proposal to more clearly separate companies that run rail infrastructure from those that provide freight and passenger services, reversing a previous position by its transport committee.
The European Parliament’s transport committee has postponed a vote that had been scheduled for today on design rules of lorries. The proposed design changes would make lorry cabs slightly longer, enabling a rounded, aerodynamic nose as well as great improvements to driver’s visibility and lorry crash performance. These changes have been delayed due to disagreements over whether to allow so-called ‘megalorries’  to cross national borders. The committee vote has been postponed until 18 March.
They say there are two options to push out bad news – publish it on a Friday, or bury it in a much bigger announcement. On transport fuels, the European Commission has chosen the latter strategy.
MEPs on the Environment Committee today stood up to political pressure from member states and industry by voting to endorse the European Commission’s proposal for an aviation emissions trading system covering all of Europe’s airspace. Although the proposal regulates only 35% of airline emissions compared to the original EU ETS, it crucially captures a portion of long-haul flights – where most of aviation’s greenhouse gases originate.
This joint declaration was presented by Transport & Environment, the Mayor of London, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Boardman and other key organisations, calling on the European Parliament to take urgent action against dangerous lorry designs which lead to hundreds of avoidable deaths every year. The declaration was presented to Phil Bennion MEP, one of the leading MEPs on the lorry weights and dimensions file.
In a joint declaration presented today, Transport & Environment, alongside the Mayor of London, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Boardman and many other organisations have called on the European Parliament to seize the once-in-a-generation chance to enforce life, and fuel-saving lorry designs. The declaration was presented to Phil Bennion MEP, one of the leading MEPs on the lorry weights and dimensions file.
The EEB and T&E have given a cautious welcome today to the formation by the European Commission of a new advisory group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The formation of the group represents the very first step in what is still a long process of improving the transparency and accountability of the negotiations.
A ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make lorries safer and more fuel-efficient comes before the European Parliament this month. MEPs on the European Parliament’s transport committee will discuss loosening regulations on the dimensions of lorry cabs that will allow them to be more aerodynamic and give drivers greater peripheral vision.
Overloading of lorries is one of the most common infringements found in road freight transport: One in three lorries controlled is overloaded by 10% or even 20% over safe legal weight limits. This poses serious problems to infrastructure, road safety and the environment.