By Jelena Simjanovic, clean energy directorWHAT I LEARNED IN 2016: I joined T&E in late summer, soon after the European Commission published its Low-emission Mobility Strategy. Its goals looked promising: increasing efficiency of the transport system; speeding up the development of low-emission alternative energy for transport; and moving towards zero-emission vehicles. While I had a general idea about biofuels and sustainability issues around them, I entered the transport world after 10 years of working on a variety of energy sector issues and carbon markets. I feel privileged to have a job where I can learn as much as I have learned in the past five months, while at the same time utilising my extensive knowledge of the electricity and energy markets for the discussion on transport electrification and development.
Switzerland is reassessing its view of trans-Alpine transport, a process that could have repercussions for the whole of Europe. A recent consultation process will lead to a proposal, expected next month, to revise the Swiss Road Transit Traffic Act to allow a second trans-Alpine road tunnel, a move that has alarmed environmental campaigners.
A win/win situation in which spending by the European Union achieves better value for money at the same time as promoting more environmentally sensitive solutions has been put forward by seven NGOs, including T&E.
Environmental groups in Slovakia have called on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to review its decision taken last month to give a €250 million loan for building the D1 motorway.
A new analysis suggests that EU funding for transport projects is putting at risk more than a thousand nature areas in Europe that are supposedly under EU protection.