Governments and carmakers are paving the way for a ‘Petrolgate’ scandal. That warning came from T&E after it obtained documents showing some governments and the car industry are trying to weaken the proposed new EU legislation on measuring particulate emissions from cars in real-world tests. Carmakers are trying to avoid having to pay €25 for a gasoline particulate filter, despite the new petrol fleet endangering human health.
More than 65 countries have signed up to offset, but not reduce, aircraft emissions from international flights, starting in 2021. However, participation in the scheme until 2027 is voluntary and its coverage of emissions falls well short of the ‘carbon neutral growth in 2020’ target promised by UN aviation body ICAO and industry. The European Commission will now examine the agreement and decide what action to recommend be taken in light of the current suspension of the emissions trading system’s (ETS) coverage of flights into and out of Europe.
Campaigners in Poland believe they are close to persuading the government to expand the country’s road toll system for lorries. T&E’s Polish member Inspro is pushing for the existing system to become totally CO2-based – thereby discouraging the use of highly polluting lorries – and knows the Polish government is generally in favour of expanding road tolls, but it is still seeking the political will. The issue is important because the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Eurovignette directive next year could allow CO2-based tolling.
The Commission is currently drafting its “road initiative”, which consists of two main objectives: one is the protection of the rights of truck drivers and the other is a promotional mechanism to encourage a cleaner freight transport system. If done properly, this will have a positive impact on ending the exploitation of foreign truck drivers while also reducing CO2 emissions from road transport. However, vans simply bypass all of these laws and, if the Commission fails to address this, it could open the door to the further exploitation of drivers and result in dirtier and more congested roads.
The European Commission is currently working on a new Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and a new bioenergy sustainability policy for the period 2020-2030, which will have implications on the long-term pathway to decarbonise transport fuels. At the end of October, T&E, together with BirdLife Europe, ActionAid and Fern, wrote a letter to the European Commission to highlight their recommendations for a post 2020 sustainable low carbon transport fuels policy. We encourage the European Commission to phase-out food-based biofuels by 2030 and to prioritize a GHG-based target over a blending mandate for incentivizing truly low carbon advanced fuels and electricity.
New independent research points to carmakers again manipulating official tests – this time on safety by adjusting indirect tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to pass the lab test but failing to perform on the road. The TPMS are designed to alert the driver when their tyres are deflating or are at a dangerously low pressure, but €10-cheaper indirect systems have failed most of the on-road tests commissioned by green group Transport & Environment (T&E), putting drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists at greater risk of dangerous blow-outs.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) designed to alert the driver when their tyres are deflating or at a dangerously low pressure have been mandatory in passenger cars in Europe since 2014. T&E has long been aware that the 'indirect' type of TPMS fails to deliver in real-world driving conditions, and is concerned that such systems could be optimised to pass the regulatory test but fail to perform appropriately on the road. We commissioned a set of tests on two vehicles equipped with such indirect systems to check their effectiveness. Both cars failed to pass most of the tests that slightly diverged from the prescribed protocol.
Abandoning a review of ship efficiency targets until 2018 at the earliest, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today turned down an easy opportunity to act on climate change, environmental groups Transport & Environment (T&E) and Seas at Risk (SAR), members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, have said.
The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decision this week to delay by at least a further seven years any agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping constitutes an abject failure by national governments and the shipping industry, leading members of the European Parliament and an environmental NGO have said. The IMO first established a work plan on GHGs in 2003, but this week it decided to create a fresh process for yet more talks – betraying the Paris agreement’s call for urgent action to limit global warming at 1.5/2°C.