Germany’s highest civil court has confirmed that city councils have the right to ban dirty diesel cars from city centres to bring air pollution down to legally required limits. In a landmark double-ruling on 27 February, the Federal Administrative Court (BVG) said cities are entitled to ban the most polluting engines, in fact they must do so if that is the most effective measure to reduce pollutants, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
There are growing calls for a green tax shift to the transport sector, which would help fill a gap in the EU’s budget after the UK leaves. A T&E analysis has found new measures such as a carbon tax on motor fuels, aviation kerosene duty, and ending the VAT exemption for flights within and from Europe would raise more than €50 billion annually. And last week, as EU leaders discussed the looming gap, 17 eminent economists rowed in behind the idea, calling it a ‘once in a decade opportunity’ to create a fossil-fuel contribution to the EU budget.
Moving from fossil-fuel powered vehicles to ones driven by renewable energy will create 206,000 net additional jobs in Europe by 2030, a new study has found. The shift to zero-emission vehicles will drive an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.2% a year in the EU and slash the bloc’s oil imports by €49 billion in 2030, according to the analysis by Cambridge Econometrics for the European Climate Foundation.
Small electric vans now cost the same to own as diesel vans – but there simply aren’t enough of them available to bring about the improvements in air pollution and reduced CO2 emissions that the technology allows for. That is the conclusion of a study for T&E which highlights how the EU’s reluctance to adequately regulate the vans’ emissions and use is now slowing emissions reductions.
Sufficient accessible charging infrastructure is a key enabler for the accelerated uptake of electric cars. This briefing analyses the current and planned future roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in European Member States, based governments’ plans (National Policy Frameworks) submitted to the Commission as part of the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive.
More investment in public charging infrastructure needed after 2020 as electric vehicle sales increase.Press release from the Electromobility Platform.Contrary to mainstream belief that there are not enough electric vehicle chargers and that this is discouraging potential EV buyers, a new analysis reveals sufficient public recharging facilities for the number of cars on the road in 2017 in many countries. Furthermore, if national EV infrastructure roll-out plans are met there will also be sufficient EV chargers until 2020.
Environmental destruction costs human lives too. On 8 December an NGO friend phoned me up with the shocking news that Colombian community leader and land claimant Hernán Bedoya had been assassinated, reportedly by paramilitary groups. It was a tragic reminder that campaigning to stop deforestation is as much about protecting the livelihoods and homes of the communities that have been living in those habitats for centuries as it is about combating climate change and protecting endangered species.
Transport has taken over from power generation as the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US – and the situation is likely to get worse as the Trump administration plans to weaken emissions standards. T&E says the policy will only damage US carmakers. Transport has been the single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in Europe since 2016.
The increase in UK new car CO2 emissions by 0.8% in 2017 reported by the UK industry arises mainly from a shift to larger SUV and dual-purpose vehicles rather than from declining diesel sales that the UK car industry association (SMMT) claims.
Reacting to the own-initiative report by MEP Bas Eickhout on the Low Emission Mobility adopted today in plenary, Yoann Le Petit, clean vehicles officer at T&E, said: “The Parliament have shown they are serious about cleaning up Europe’s transport sector. MEPs have confirmed they want to see ambitious 2025 CO2 targets as well as a separate sales target for zero emission vehicles. In the forthcoming debates on the Second Mobility Package, Parliament has signaled it sees decarbonisation as a key pillar of the mobility revolution and complementary to a competitive industry that will secure jobs and investments in Europe."