The European Commission’s proposed Investment Court System for the EU-US trade deal is a largely cosmetic rebranding, civil society groups have said, giving special privileges to foreign investors and undermining national and EU legal systems. The ‘new’ proposal keeps these major flaws of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) intact – while the court’s establishment and running would be paid for by European taxpayers, according to sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) and environmental law organisation ClientEarth.
Institutional investors with a total of €12 trillion of assets under management have called for EU policymakers to restore confidence in Europe's car emissions testing regime by introducing on-the-road testing for CO2 emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment said it highlights the importance of ending the systematic manipulation of car testing, and that this can only be achieved by establishing effective oversight of the EU car testing system – as announced by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday.
Transport & Environment (T&E) warmly welcomes the announcement by Commission President Juncker that the European Commission will introduce an effective oversight of the EU system for testing cars.
In the last few days several announcements have demonstrated how the initial exposure of Volkswagen’s cheating US tests is merely the tip of an iceberg of test manipulation. In the US more models, including models from Porsche, have been accused of having illegal levels of diesel NOx emissions. This was followed by VW admitting that it overstated fuel economy and CO2 figures by 10-15% on 800,000 vehicles, including petrol cars. In a further announcement, the environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany, DUH) exposed suspicious test results on an Opel Zafira. General Motors deny any wrongdoing.
Europeans pay 14 cent more on average in tax for a litre of petrol than for diesel – indirectly subsidising diesel cars to the order of €2,600 per vehicle, a new study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) finds. This 30% tax gap in favour of diesel is a key reason for diesel cars’ majority share of new sales in Europe and leads to air quality problems where nine out of 10 diesel cars fail to meet NOx limits when driven on the road. 
MEPs today called on the EU and all other countries at this year’s Paris climate summit to ensure a requirement is included for reducing emissions from international aviation and shipping. Parliamentarians called for emissions reduction targets for both sectors to be set before the end of 2016 by the corresponding UN agencies, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The aviation and shipping sectors are set to be exempt from targeted CO2 emissions cuts in the December Paris climate agreement, according to the latest draft deal. This is an irresponsible U-turn, say environmental groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment. CO2 emissions from the two sectors are set to grow by up to 250% by 2050, making attempts to limit global warming to 2°C all but impossible.
New cars, including the Mercedes A, C and E class, BMW 5 series and Peugeot 308, are now swallowing around 50% more fuel than their lab test results, new on-the-road results compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E) reveal. The gap between official and real-world performance found in many car models has grown so wide that it cannot be explained through known factors including test manipulations. While this does not constitute proof of ‘defeat devices’ being used to fiddle fuel economy tests, similar to that used by Volkswagen, EU governments must extend probes into defeat devices to CO2 tests and petrol cars too.
Eco-driving technology that will save motorists €30 to €50 year today received the backing of MEPs who called for mandatory fuel consumption meters for all new cars, vans and trucks. The European Parliament’s environment committee overwhelmingly voted for the meters to be fitted and permanently visible in all new vehicles from 1 January 2019, leading to fuel efficiency gains of 2-3% per year.