Browse by topic


Briefing: Environmental Goods Agreement

Launched in July 2014, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is being negotiated between the European Union – on behalf of its 28 member states – and 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The selection of goods for the EGA list was undertaken in secrecy and without a definition of an environmental good or selection criteria. T&E has identified around 120 items on the list of 650 goods for which we do not see any environmental justification for lowering tariffs. We argue that negotiations should open up and the assessment of what is an environmental good should be conducted by recognised experts in full transparency, on the basis of a widely accepted methodology.

Published on September 16, 2015 - 10:05

5 facts about diesel the car industry would rather not tell you

A consortium of car manufacturers, suppliers and repairers has, in an attempt to hide the fact that a typical diesel car emits 10 times more nitrogen oxides than an equivalent gasoline car, launched a new website. Its content ignores the inconvenient truth that new diesels can’t reach the limits agreed back in 2007 without fitting new technology. This briefing provides six facts about diesel cars that the industry would rather the public didn’t know.

Published on September 1, 2015 - 15:30

Realistic real-world driving emissions tests: the last chance for diesel cars?

Harmful levels of air pollution are endemic in European cities, especially close to roads, causing 400,000 premature deaths annually and costing the EU a whopping €1 trillion a year. This paper focuses on the role played by diesel cars in the air pollution crisis and identifies obsolete tests and optimisation strategies by car manufacturers as the reasons they have failed to deliver real-world improvements. It explores the Commission’s proposed new real-world driving (RDE) test, which is to be implemented for new Euro 6 standard vehicles, and outlines a timetable to address important issues relating to air pollution from cars.

Published on July 29, 2015 - 18:31

Explanatory note: Comparing US and EU truck fuel economy

In June 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced phase II of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks, intended to reduce planet-warming carbon pollution. In the US tractor-trailers average between 33-36l/100km. The new proposal will bring that down to below 27l/100km by 2027. This explanatory note details how US trucks will overtake European lorries as the most efficient in the world.

Published on July 1, 2015 - 10:07

Shipping emissions – the final EU climate frontier

On 28 April 2015, the European Parliament was expected to ratify a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. This briefing details how shipping emissions have increased by approximately 70% since 1990 and the EU's track record on cutting these emissions. Under current policies, the IMO's GHG study forecasts shipping CO2 emissions to increase by 50% to 250% by 2050, which would then represent between 6% to 14% of total global emissions. While emissions from other sectors have started declining or are looking to peak in 2020, none of the “business as usual” scenarios for shipping foresee a decline in shipping emissions before 2050. The EU has promised measures for shipping emissions three times since 2009 and the Commission’s communication on Energy Union made it clear that all sources of emissions should contribute to the EU 2030 reduction target.

Published on April 28, 2015 - 10:17

Non-Road Mobile Machinery: The good, the bad and the dirty

This briefing assesses the new regulation proposal for emissions from non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). It makes modest progress in covering a wider range of engines types and in tackling the issue of particulates emissions. However, T&E finds that the proposal is likely to create market distortion and favour specific fuel/technologies that cannot be justified. It also has no requirement on existing engines to adopt retrofit equipment to have an earlier impact on air quality, resulting in an unacceptably long wait in light of the persistent air quality problems around Europe.

Published on March 20, 2015 - 13:03

Aviation VAT review – solving twin challenges

Aviation's tax-exempt status has always been an unjustified subsidy to the most carbon-intensive mode of transport. As the EU's commits to further emissions reductions and to a shift towards environmental taxation, so arguments for abolishing these exemptions are stronger than ever. This briefing outlining what steps the EU needs to take, and how ending these exemptions can reduce emissions and create employment.

Published on March 18, 2015 - 14:35