Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard is meeting EU environment ministers today to discuss Europe’s plan to force oil companies to clean up transport fuels. The meeting comes amid a long-running lobbying campaign by Canada and the oil industry who are resisting attempts to force dirty sources of oil such as tar sands and coal-to-liquid to be produced in a more sustainable way. Meanwhile, California, America’s largest transport fuel market, gave renewed backing on Friday to its own ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’: the world’s first.
There appears to be a link between US aviation industry lobbyists and recent international political pressure against EU plans to cap aviation emissions according to documents revealed today by Transport & Environment.
A transatlantic coalition of environmental groups applauded today’s European Court of Justice’s Advocate General’s preliminary opinion, which supports Europe’s right to tackle carbon emissions from airlines that use its airports. The coalition said the preliminary opinion was very encouraging. The Court is expected to hand down its final opinion in early 2012.
The average car sold in Europe last year was 4% more fuel efficient, emitted 4% less CO2 and was 2.5% cheaper in real terms than a year earlier, according to a new report. The new figures, which continue recent trends, severely undermine industry claims that legally-binding fuel efficiency targets would make cars ‘unaffordable’.
A major carbon accounting flaw in EU legislation whereby biofuels used in transport and biomass used for power generation are counted as ‘zero emissions’ will have “immense” consequences for the environment. This is the key finding of a report published on Friday by the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency, a top EU advisory body (1)
Future Porsche sports cars could get away with being almost four times noisier than regular cars while high performance versions of the BMW 3 series, Audi A4 and Mini Cooper could become almost twice as loud under German plans for weak international limits on vehicle noise (1). Noise reductions for lorries would also be delayed until 2028 if the proposal from the German transport and environment ministries is accepted. T&E is calling on the EU to set its own stringent noise standards for cars and lorries in a proposal expected later this month.
The European Commission last week proposed stricter controls on dangerous sulphur in ship fuel  Environmental NGOs welcomed what they described as a long overdue proposal, which will bring the EU in line with the standards agreed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 3 years ago.