The mayor of London and representatives of other British cities have called for a ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to be introduced in 2030 – 10 years earlier than the earlier announcement by the UK government. Their call comes as a court in Germany has ruled that banning diesels from a historic city is a legitimate way to combat air pollution, and Milan has taken the first step towards banning diesels from the city by 2025.
The European Commission has announced a commitment to spending at least 60% of the EU’s cross-border infrastructure fund on schemes that help the fight against climate change. T&E has largely welcomed the announcement, though it criticised the proposal to count EU funding for gas projects towards the climate spending goals.
Europe has already spent half a billion US dollars on natural gas infrastructure for its shipping sector in order to comply with an EU law – and continuing its roll-out is likely to cost governments and investors $22 billion by 2050, a new study has found. Liquified natural gas (LNG) will reduce shipping emissions by just 6%, at most, compared to the replaced diesel fuel, the research by the UMAS consultancy shows.
Some 97% of Spain’s population is being exposed to harmful levels of air pollution, a report by T&E’s Spanish member Ecologistas en Acción shows. The economic recovery has brought an increase in the use of diesel for cars, airplane jet fuel, and coal to generate electricity. The main source of pollution in urban areas, where most of the population lives, is road traffic.
Rolling out liquified natural gas (LNG) infrastructure for shipping in Europe would cost $22 billion and deliver, at best, a 6% reduction in ship greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared to the replaced diesel, a new independent study for Transport & Environment (T&E) by the UMAS consultancy finds. To date Europe has spent half a billion US dollars on LNG infrastructure for refuelling ships.
Read Spanish and Italian versions.China has secured €21.7 billion of investment in the past year to manufacture electric vehicles (EV) while Europe secured only €3.2 billion, according to European carmakers’ public announcements compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E). China produces a third more cars than Europe does (23.5 million passenger cars manufactured in 2017 versus 17 million in Europe) and thus the market size can’t explain the huge disparity in investment. China’s ambitious mandate – requiring carmakers to manufacture electric vehicles in its territory – is a key driver of investment in EVs, one which Europe currently lacks.
Mobility is at a crossroads and in each of the key three revolutions, automation, sharing and electrification of cars, Europe is falling behind. China has secured seven times more investments in electric vehicle manufacturing than the EU has in the last year only. Based on public announcements, China has received over EUR 21.7 billion of investment to produce electric vehicles while the EU secured only EUR 3.2 billion, seven times less. Front runners the Volkswagen Group, Daimler AG and Nissan have provided the bulk of the investment in China, driven by the aggressive electric vehicle policy. This policy requires carmakers to obtain credits for the production of EVs that are equivalent to 10% of the overall passenger car market in 2019 and 12% in 2020.
The citizens-led campaign to reduce air pollution in Milan has spread to Rome, with the NGO behind the ‘NO2 – no thanks’ campaign publishing figures on dangerous air quality in the Italian capital, as well as more detailed information about Milan. The figures focus on the health impacts, but in Rome they also highlight the increased threat of erosion to some of the city’s greatest monuments, including the Colosseum.
Six EU countries are being taken to court for failing to tackle repeated breaches of air quality limits. T&E said the legal action by the European Commission is a long-overdue and welcome step. Germany, France and the UK face penalties for years of allowing breaches of limits on toxic NO2 emissions while Italy, Romania and Hungary failed to tackle harmful and illegal levels of particulates (PM10). Spain, however, has got away with a warning.
Carmakers are still failing to achieve their own sales targets for battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe because they have barely improved the marketing, choice and availability of zero emissions vehicles, a new report shows. While carmakers seek to blame a lack of recharging points and government incentives, market data obtained by T&E shows that for the second year running  they spent miniscule amounts trying to sell electric vehicles – especially in markets where motorists are already willing to consider buying them.