Traffic noise is a serious concern for Europeans, and the EU must act quickly to tackle the issue. That is the call from citizens from several European countries in a video clip published today (1) for International Noise Awareness Day.
Brussels - Fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain may have to raise their low diesel taxes following a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this afternoon on a proposal to revise the EU’s Energy Tax law. Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Magnus Nilsson, senior campaigner at T&E said: “This vote is good news for countries like Portugal, Belgium, France and Germany who currently lose billions in tax revenue as a result of lorries filling up in fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain. Lower diesel taxes are bad for the climate and force governments to find cash elsewhere, such as by raising job-killing labour taxes. ”
A new study has recommended Europe should have a single fuel economy and carbon dioxide labelling system for cars. The study by the British consultancy AEA looked at the labelling systems in operation in eight member states, and found some compare a car with the whole car market while others show only how it compares with others of the same type. It says comparisons against the whole of the available car fleet are likely to be more useful in the absence of further research. Another report in 2010 also recommended a harmonised approach to labelling.
Of the seven EU countries to have a ‘vignette’ tax system for cars, Hungary has the best and Slovenia the worst. That’s the finding of a study for the Commission that has looked at the seven existing systems as it is soon to publish draft guidelines for governments on minimum standards for vignettes.
Differences are emerging between car makers and the suppliers of car parts over the EU’s efforts to fight climate change. While the car makers are continuing to oppose the EU’s proposed 2020 average carbon dioxide emissions limit of 95 grams per kilometre, the parts suppliers believe the target is easily achievable. The head of Europe’s umbrella organisation representing car parts suppliers has accused Germany’s car industry of ‘greed’ and ‘milking the cow dry’.
Any future support by the European Commission to help the car industry in their restructuring processes should be explicitly linked to progress made by carmakers towards more fuel-efficient and less carbon-emitting vehicles.
A group of noise expert has written to the Commission in order to encourage it to take tighten measures on traffic noise levels, especially vehicle noise, which have severe health impacts. They stressed the importance of having stricter standards on noise emissions in a very short time, as well as the rapidity with which vehicle producers can comply to them in a quite short time.