This blogpost by Joao Vieira, T&E's President, also appears as the foreword to our Annual Review Report.The EU is about peace, first and foremost. But as a political battlefield, it has few equals. In that context, we would summarise 2012 as the year that: Europe made it through the year in one piece, green transport policies suffered, were sometimes wounded, but soldiered on, and, last but not least, T&E played its role in the troops - quite often on the frontline.
The EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas has floated the idea of the EU legislating to oblige member states to provide more charging points for electric vehicles. The proposal came as part of a ‘Clean Power for Transport’ package launched last month that looks to encourage a greater take-up of alternative-fuel vehicles by the public. T&E said it was ‘a small but largely welcome step’ in the right direction.
Black carbon, or soot particles from diesel engines, could be making a much larger contribution to climate change than previously believed, according to a study by over 30 internationally recognised climate scientists. The study, Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: a scientific assessment, says black carbon is second only to carbon dioxide as the most important warming gas, with a greater impact than methane. The study’s lead author said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its 2007 assessment, gave a value to the role of black carbon that was only half of what this new study suggests it is. The authors believe that if efforts to reduce black carbon emissions were maximised, it could mean up to half a degree less warming or two decades of delay in current predictions about global warming.
Environmental NGOs from the ‘Coalition for sustainable EU funds’  warn that today’s European Parliament votes on future EU transport spending contradict MEPs' own ambitions for more sustainable spending by approving a Christmas wish list including damaging projects. 
MEPs have supported the Commission’s intention to have 20% of the 2014-20 EU budget spent on actions to fight climate change.
The Commission has issued a transport and technology communication which calls on governments to ‘break away from conventional thinking’ in an attempt to boost new forms of transport energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.