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Briefing: ‘Trade for All’ – Balancing environmental protection and trade promotion

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström released her five-year ‘Trade for All’ strategy in October 2015, which acknowledges growing public concern over the EU’s trade policies. We identify five areas that need revision in order to more equitably distribute the benefits and costs of the EU’s trade policy: global value chains; energy imports; sustainable development; investment protection; transparency.

Published on February 11, 2016 - 11:47

Europe’s lost decade of truck fuel economy

Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDV), which include trucks and buses, increased by 36% between 1990 and 2010 and are estimated to continue growing in the foreseeable future. HDV emissions currently represent around 30% of all road transport CO2 emissions and unless additional measures are taken by 2030 HDV emissions will increase to over 40% of road transport CO2. By 2030 HDV would emit around 15% of emissions not covered by the EU ETS (non-ETS/ESD) – which EU member states will have to reduce by 30% by 2030. The main reason for the increase of HDV carbon emissions is the stagnation of truck fuel efficiency coupled with increasing demand for road freight.

Published on December 2, 2015 - 20:04

COP21: Shipping and aviation emissions are the elephants in the room

Aviation emissions are responsible for 5% of global warming and shipping makes up almost 3% of global CO2. These sectors have a CO2 impact equal to the UK and Germany and are continuing to grow rapidly – by up to 270% in 2050, by which time they could account for almost 40% of all emissions. Such emission growth will undermine reductions efforts by all countries and other sectors, effectively making the 1.5/2°C objective impossible to achieve.

Published on November 27, 2015 - 13:31

NGO recommendations for upstream emissions reductions in the Fuel Quality Directive

The recently adopted implementing rules for the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) include the possibility for fuel suppliers to use upstream emissions reductions (UERs) to reach the 6% decarbonisation target. This briefing contains T&E's recommendations for European Commission guidelines on UERs under the FQD. It outlines how the rules are vague and, without robust guidance by the European Commission and restrictions by member states, there is a risk of double counted and non-additional offset credits being used for compliance, seriously undermining the FQD’s effectiveness.

Published on October 6, 2015 - 14:35

VW’s cheating is just the tip of the iceberg

The prospect of Volkswagen being fined $18 billion for manipulating air pollution tests in the US caused its shares to fall 22% and is sending shock waves through the automotive industry. VW has been ordered to recall nearly 500,000 cars, meaning a massive bill to correct the vehicles and potential class action claims for compensation. After initially refusing to comment, CEO Winterkorn issued a statement saying he was “very sorry”. The evidence suggests he will not be the last head of a carmaker offering apologies in the next few months as other manufacturers will be found making use of “defeat devices” for tricking laboratory tests.

Published on September 21, 2015 - 17:00

Too big to ignore – truck CO2 emissions in 2030

Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDV), which include trucks and buses, increased by 36% between 1990 and 2010 and continue to grow. HDV emissions currently represent around 30% of all road transport CO2 emissions and 5% of all EU CO2 emissions. This briefing by T&E analyses existing data and finds that unless additional measures are taken HDV emissions will increase to 40% of road transport emissions by 2030.
Published on September 21, 2015 - 16:29

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