When France goes to the polls, Europe holds its breath. France is essential to the European project and without it the EU in its current form cannot exist. And never were the stakes higher than in this election. Fortunately Macron won a resounding victory. France will not become the playground of the Russian-sponsored National Front. Europe will not fall apart.
France’s national Court of Auditors has been fiercely critical of the country’s government and MPs for allowing the French heavy goods ‘ecotax’ to be abandoned. The tax was first suggested as part of an exploration of environmental ideas in 2008 and approved by MPs in 2009, but in November it was abandoned after a series of protests. The Court of Auditors says that the decision was ‘a strategic failure’ and ‘a mess’ that will damage the public finances and the credibility of the country’s transport policy.
The overall direction for road transport in today’s leaked draft of the European Commission strategy for low-emission mobility has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E), though the sustainable transport group has urged stronger action on greenhouse gases from international aviation and shipping.
Road freight CO2 emissions are the fastest growing segment of land transport emissions, both at EU and at global level. By 2030 heavy-duty vehicle emissions will account for almost 40% of road transport emissions. The European Commission is currently preparing a “decarbonisation of road transport strategy” in which it will outline its truck CO2 plans. To contribute to this debate T&E commissioned a market study surveying 180 SME hauliers in France, Germany, Poland, the UK and Spain.
We all know the numbers by now. By 2030 GHG emissions in the EU need to drop 40% compared to 1990. For the traded sectors that means a 43% cut, for the non-traded sectors it requires a 30% cut – both compared to 2005. That was what the EU heads of states agreed in 2014. The 2030 climate targets were agreed before the Paris climate deal.
It’s time to break the mantra that reducing the sector's climate impact will be costlyThe EU has agreed to reduce emissions from all sectors by 2030. If transport would do its fair share, it would need to reduce its emissions by 30% compared to 2005. However, certain policymakers and modellers think the transport sector should be given an easy ride.
Speech to Informal Council of EU Environment Ministers by Jos Dings, executive director, Transport & EnvironmentAmsterdam, 14 April 2016Thank you Madam President for the invitation and for organising this very timely and relevant event.I represent Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based environmental group specialising in sustainable transport, with 50 member organisations in 27 countries across this beautiful continent.
On 11 April, 2016, T&E's freight and climate director William Todts spoke at the hearing on a sustainable Flemish mobility policy within the framework of the EU 2030 objectives. His recommendations focus on the following elements: Cleaner Vehicles; cleaner Fuels; and better traffic management and smarter taxation. Download the recommendations in full below.