The European Parliament will vote next week on whether to strengthen the proposal for Europe’s key climate law, the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – or ‘Climate Action Regulation’, the name agreed by the environment committee. MEPs will be asked to back a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and to close some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
Efforts to position electrofuels as the great hope to decarbonise road transport received a blow with findings that the synthetic fuel is neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution for cars and trucks.
The days of time-based charges for heavy-goods vehicles may be numbered after it emerged that two more EU member countries are close to introducing distance-based charging schemes for heavy goods vehicles. The Netherlands and Bulgaria plan to introduce distance-based charging, and the timing could be important for the future of truck charging in Europe.
A report by two respected climate scientists says the EU’s plans for natural gas as an energy source are incompatible with its commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. The report’s authors say Europe has just nine years left to burn fossil fuels at the current rate if global temperatures are to stay below a 2°C increase.
Greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses in Europe could be completely eliminated by 2050, a new in-depth study by T&E has found. However, this requires the EU to set ambitious CO2 standards for trucks, increase the share of rail freight and embrace new truck technologies based on renewable electricity, according to the report launched this week at the Mission of Norway to the EU in Brussels.
Suppliers of equipment to the truck industry have joined a call for new minimum safety standards for new cars, vans and trucks to be urgently brought forward after years of delays. Industry groups along with NGOs, consumer organisations and cities last month told the European Commission to stop stalling on the new rules which are needed to bring down the number of deaths on Europe’s roads.
Time-based road tolling for trucks is to be phased out in Europe by 2024, the European Commission has proposed. T&E welcomed the switch to a distanced-based system which, by charging per kilometer, encourages drivers to take the most efficient route and discourages empty trips while reducing congestion and pollution.
The ability of rail freight to reduce congestion and pollution on roads is far greater than previously thought, according to figures from one of T&E’s British member organisations. The figures suggest that integrated rail and road planning is a better option for reducing the environmental impact of road transport than expanding road capacity.
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has backed up T&E’s claims that the makers of trucks are ‘cherry picking’ vehicle test data so they can claim progress on fuel consumption and thus delay and avoid CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). The ICCT says truckmakers have been selecting vehicles for comparisons that lead to favourable conclusions.