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Europe must back long term car CO2 standards and strict penalties

T&E welcomes the broadly positive response of Environment Ministers to legally binding new car CO2 targets proposed by the European Commission in December, but urges all member states to back longer term targets, robust penalties and footprint not weight-based standards.

Can you hear us? - Why it is finally time for the EU to tackle the problem of traffic noise

In this brochure, T&E sets out the problem of traffic noise and what can be gained by seriously tackling it, and recommends the best course of action for the EU to adopt in drafting a new set of tighter noise standards.

09/04/08 - A Price Worth Paying: Making Road Charging Work for Europe

On 9 April 2008, the Slovenian Presidency of the EU in cooperation with T&E, the European Federation for Transport and Environment, hosted a major international conference on the future of road charging in Europe. The discussion focussed on economic, technical and political aspects of road charging for HGVs and experiences in Europe, in the context of the preparation of a new EU legislative framework on fair and efficient pricing.

Lifetime costs

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The Commission’s long-awaited draft legislation on the rules for public authorities to buy road vehicles came out in December, and as expected they will require all authorities in the EU to consider the lifetime cost of pollution emissions and fuel consumption. The principle of bodies such as public transport authorities paying more for vehicles that are environmentally better than cheaper options has been accepted for some time, but the new legislation proposes a harmonised EU methodology for calculating the lifecycle costs of fuel, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and particulate matter. One study predicts the proposed law could save up to 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2017.

Record fine

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The French oil company Total has been given the largest-ever fine imposed in Europe for damage caused to the environment. At the end of a long trial, a criminal court in Paris last month found Total guilty of ‘ecological prejudice’ and recklessness over the oil spill from the tanker Erika off the coast of France and Spain in 1999. Total and three other parties were ordered to pay €192 million for the environmental damage caused, after evidence was presented showing they ignored risks in the ageing tanker. Total has said it may appeal, but it might also face claims for more damages.

Unfair claim

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The Belgian advertising authority has condemned the Swedish car maker Saab for claiming unjustifiable environmental benefits for one of its cars. Saab has been advertising that its new ‘biopower’ car has no environmental impact, but environmental groups have threatened legal action over the claim. Official fuel consumption figures show Saab is among the worst performers on the Belgian market.

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