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Car CO2 progress slows while gap with reality widens, warns T&E

Carbon emissions of the average new car sold in Europe fell 2.6% in 2014 to 123.4g/km, according to official figures published today by the European Environmental Agency (EEA). Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) warned that most of the improvement was being delivered through cheating in flawed tests with no benefits for drivers in better fuel economy on the road.

EU lawmakers agree to phase out land-based biofuels

The use of land-based biofuels as part of EU plans for the decarbonisation of transport will be restricted under a proposal endorsed by the European Parliament’s environment committee today. Transport & Environment cautiously welcomes the decision, which is expected to be approved by the full Parliament later this month, will limit at 7% the use of first-generation biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020.

New ships 10% less fuel efficient than those built in 1990 – study

New ships built in 2013 were on average 10% less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990, according to a new study. It also shows that container ships built 30 years ago already, on average, beat the so-called ‘Energy Efficiency Design Index’ standard that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set for new ships built in 2020. The standard is up for review next month.

Up to 7% of carbon emissions in the ETS escape through loophole – study

Between 90 and 150 million tonnes of CO2 resulting from burning biomass with no climate safeguards are ‘labelled’ carbon neutral in Europe and thus do not require carbon permits under the EU emissions trading system (ETS), according to a new study published today. This represents up to 7% of all emissions in the ETS on an annual basis or three times the CO2 emissions released in Portugal in 2012.

Parliament says yes to safer, more efficient lorries

The European Parliament today voted to end brick-shaped lorries, clearing the way for advances in fuel efficiency and safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The new law allows lorrymakers to produce new designs but industry lobbyists secured a ban until 2022 even though the new designs are voluntary, not mandatory. The Commission will propose new safety requirements for trucks by amending its vehicle safety regulations by 2016.

Shipping industry must support CO2 target for sector, say transport groups

The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) is calling on shipping industry leaders to support a carbon emissions reduction target for their sector, as ship owners and stakeholders gather in Brussels for European Shipping Week. The CSC, the global NGO coalition campaigning for cleaner shipping [1], said that as the only remaining major economic sphere yet to tackle its carbon emissions, shipping must act urgently to do their part to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees.

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.

European Parliament votes to phase out first-generation biofuels after 2020

Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today to limit at 6% the use of land-based biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020. They also approved accounting of indirect emissions (known as ILUC) [1] from biofuels under the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) with a review clause to put them in all pieces of legislation after 2020 [2]. This vote will put the brakes on the growing consumption of biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol. 

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.

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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