The Board of sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has today announced William Todts as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Jos Dings, who this week leaves the position after 13 years.
Transport and energy ministers today backed plans to spend €7 billion of the EU’s transport infrastructure budget on more sustainable projects like electric vehicle re-charging points and upgrades to rail signalling. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the ministers’ earmarking of part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 2021-2027.
MEPs of the industry and transport committees voted this morning to reject plans to guarantee 40% of the EU’s transport infrastructure budget (some €12 billion) be spent on more sustainable projects like smart grids and charging stations. European NGO federation, Transport & Environment (T&E) is disappointed with this vote because it locks in considerable funds into fossil fuel powered transport. Thus T&E calls on all MEPs to reject this in December’s plenary vote.
Fuelling Italy’s Future: How the transition to low-carbon mobility strengthens the economy shows that the transition to low-carbon mobility in Italy can improve the domestic economy, reduce spending on imported fuel, increase national energy security, reduce the exposure of consumers to oil price volatility, strengthen the macroeconomic resilience of the country and considerably improve the health of citizens.
In 2018 the EU will develop a budget for the 2021-2027 period. The current budget earmarks €100 billion for investment in transport infrastructure, as well as research and innovation. Nevertheless, emissions continue to rise from the sector and represent 27% of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Spending should prioritise addressing this worrying trend, investing in infrastructure that helps reduce such emissions. Furthermore, the most polluting means of transport could become new own resources for the EU budget, which would help to reduce emissions and fill the EU budget gap that will be left after the UK exits the EU. Read more in our responses to the European Commission’s open consultations on the EU budget.
T&E's reaction to the Parliament's hearing of Commissioner-designate for Transport and Space Maroš ŠefčovičToday’s questioning of Commissioner-designate for Transport and Space revealed Maroš Šefčovič to be a capable and experienced Commissioner with a surprisingly good grasp of his brief.
The Green 10, a coalition of the 10 leading environmental organisations active at EU level, wrote to Commission Vice-President designate Frans Timmermans expressing grave concerns over the proposed set-up for the new Commission. The letter notes that none of the vice presidents’ mission letters mention sustainability as a key issue, and the mandate for the Environment Commissioner aims for a freeze and possibly rollback of environmental policies. The new Commission structure would also mean that for the first time in two decades the EU would not have a dedicated Environment Commissioner. There are also serious concerns over conflicts of interest resulting from the current assignment of some portfolios.The letter reiterates the Green 10's four proposals to rebalance this situation: establish a vice-president for sustainability; upgrade the Vice-President for Energy Union to ‘Climate Action and Energy Union’; ensure the full-time environment portfolio is reinstated; and resolve the conflicts of interest.
The unofficial capital of Europe is the most congested city in Europe, according to the latest ranking of congested cities, but opinion sampling and a vote in Gothenburg suggest public willingness for tackling congestion is not great.
One of the frustrations of EU transport policy is the relentless focus on the internal market as the one-and-only justification for setting standards, introducing rules or spending money. It leaves us all short-changed. On the rare occasion that ‘Brussels’ tries to make suggestions for cities’ or regions’ transport policies to improve air quality, safety or health, the spectre of ‘subsidiarity’ spooks everyone and the idea vanishes.