Poland’s council of ministers has agreed on a new route for the Via Baltica motorway that has earned the approval of environmental campaigners who fought a long battle to protect an ancient wetland site threatened by an earlier route.
The Commission is expected to act this month to close a gap in EU legislation by limiting carbon dioxide emissions from road transport. It is putting the final touches to proposals to tighten environmental standards for vans and light trucks, but the car makers’ lobby is fighting to get the proposals weakened, while environmental groups fear that some large cars could be reclassified as small trucks to allow the makers to be less strict about emissions.
Charging lorries for their external costs could contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions from transport, according to a study from the University of Karlsruhe for the Community of European Railways.
France is set to become the fifth EU member to introduce a nationwide heavy goods vehicle charge. But late concessions and a provision for ‘earmarking’ revenues have dampened environmental campaigners’ enthusiasm for the scheme.