MEPs today voted to increase the ambition of the EU’s most powerful climate law, the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). While the ESR still fails to meet the aims of the Paris agreement, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the European Parliament environment committee’s backing for a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and for closing some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
One and a half years since the VW and ensuing Dieselgate scandal erupted, continuing inaction by Europe’s 28 car regulators have resulted in almost 35 million dirty diesels on Europe’s roads. These will continue to pollute the air for decades to come and already result in nearly 7,000 premature deaths annually which could have been avoided if the EU air pollution limits were met. This briefing explain's T&E's analysis of the data, how the car approval system has been discredited, and how member states are falling short in their ambition for reform. It also outlines the position of Germany; the champion for dirty diesel.
MEPs and the European Commission must stand firm on delivering a proper fix of Europe’s system of testing and approving cars, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment has said, after EU governments today agreed to waterdown some of the reforms. Governments opposed independent EU-level oversight of national type approval authorities – the regulators which allowed Volkswagen and other carmakers to cheat vehicle emissions tests and put 35 million dirty diesel cars on our roads. 
More than one-and-a-half years after the dieselgate scandal erupted the number of dirty diesels poisoning the air Europeans breathe keeps growing. New T&E research shows that there are 35 million of these diesel cars and vans driving on Europe’s roads today, six million more than in 2015. These Euro 5 and 6 diesel cars and vans were sold in Europe between 2011 and 2016 and exceed the nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits by at least three times (1).
The German parliament has approved the first law that promotes the use of car sharing. It will come into effect in September, shortly before the German parliamentary election.
Road traffic is the principal cause of noise disturbance across Europe, according to a new study published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). It means that road transport is now a major contributor to the two largest environmental stressors in Europe: air pollution and noise.
Carbon offsets are not working, according to a study by the European Commission. This measure allows polluters to pay others to reduce their emissions, so they can continue to pollute. The research found that 85% of the offset projects used by the EU under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) failed to reduce emissions.
T&E are calling on the Commission to promote distance-based charging for passenger cars in the upcoming review of the Eurovignette Directive. This position paper and summary briefing paper detail how charging road users for every kilometre that they drive can be a means to promote smarter transport behaviour and, if implemented correctly, increase the uptake of cleaner vehicles.
Governments from major carmaking countries – notably Germany, Italy and Spain – are holding back efforts to strengthen the system of testing and approving vehicles that has allowed millions of air-polluting cars on Europe’s roads, according to official documents and informal minutes seen by Transport & Environment (T&E). The three governments oppose new checks by the European Commission to confirm that cars, once sold, continue to produce acceptable levels of emissions.
It has been more than a year since the European Commission presented its type approval proposals (or TAFR) to reform the current system of vehicles testing following the Dieselgate scandal. Following extensive consideration by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, the final negotiations to agree the changes are imminent. The Parliament voted its position on 4 April; the Council is expected to agree most technical details at a working group meeting on the 26 and 27 April and reach a final agreement at the Competitiveness Council on 29 May.