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Fuel consumption meters, saving motorists up to €50 a year, get MEPs’ backing

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.

Four countries back truck CO2 limits, as lorries rival cars in share of emissions

Four EU countries have called for mandatory fuel economy standards for trucks, documents reveal – as new research by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) projects heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) will almost overtake cars as the biggest source of road transport emissions by 2030. CO2 emissions are directly related to the fuel economy of internal-combustion vehicles, with more fuel-efficient vehicles emitting less greenhouse gas.

VW’s cheating is just the tip of the iceberg

The prospect of Volkswagen being fined $18 billion for manipulating air pollution tests in the US caused its shares to fall 22% and is sending shock waves through the automotive industry. VW has been ordered to recall nearly 500,000 cars, meaning a massive bill to correct the vehicles and potential class action claims for compensation. After initially refusing to comment, CEO Winterkorn issued a statement saying he was “very sorry”. The evidence suggests he will not be the last head of a carmaker offering apologies in the next few months as other manufacturers will be found making use of “defeat devices” for tricking laboratory tests.

Too big to ignore – truck CO2 emissions in 2030

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Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDV), which include trucks and buses, increased by 36% between 1990 and 2010 and continue to grow. HDV emissions currently represent around 30% of all road transport CO2 emissions and 5% of all EU CO2 emissions. This briefing by T&E analyses existing data and finds that unless additional measures are taken HDV emissions will increase to 40% of road transport emissions by 2030.

‘New’ Investment Court System still privileges foreign investors under EU-US trade deal

The EU’s Investment Court System, announced today by the European Commission, is a mere rebranding exercise of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the EU-US trade deal, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. T&E thinks that this cosmetic exercise will resolve none of the fundamental concerns about granting special privileges for foreign investors, undermining national laws and bypassing domestic courts.

Asbestos and jet engines on EU’s ‘green’ goods list for lower tariffs

Sales of asbestos, airplane engines, petrol and other environmentally harmful goods will be boosted by lower tariffs from the EU and 16 other WTO countries under a draft trade deal that is actually supposed to improve access to technologies that protect the environment, it has been revealed.

Briefing: Environmental Goods Agreement

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Launched in July 2014, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is being negotiated between the European Union – on behalf of its 28 member states – and 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The selection of goods for the EGA list was undertaken in secrecy and without a definition of an environmental good or selection criteria. T&E has identified around 120 items on the list of 650 goods for which we do not see any environmental justification for lowering tariffs. We argue that negotiations should open up and the assessment of what is an environmental good should be conducted by recognised experts in full transparency, on the basis of a widely accepted methodology.

European Parliament fails to clean up diesel trains

Train passengers and citizens living along rail-lines must continue to breathe toxic diesel fumes, the European Parliament decided today. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) criticised MEPs of the environment committee for failing to require diesel trains to fit exhaust treatment systems that are now required for cars and trucks, which would have cleaned up the emissions and protected health.

European Parliament urges EU governments to include aviation and shipping in a strong Paris climate deal

The heads of 7 of the 8 political groups of the European Parliament's environment committee wrote today to the Environment Ministers of the 28 EU countries urging them to include international shipping and aviation in a global climate deal at Paris.