Pressure is mounting on EU officials to remove several loopholes in its plan to phase out subsidies for biodiesel produced from palm oil. Earlier this month the European Commission took the landmark decision to stop palm biodiesel from counting towards meeting EU renewable energy targets. But, facing trade war threats from the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia, it included an exemption for additional palm oil produced in independent small plantations (less than five hectares) or produced on ‘unused’ land.
Momentum is growing to end the decades-long tax tax break for international flights. Earlier this month the Netherlands pitched an EU aviation tax to the EU’s finance ministers. And new polling indicates people prefer a frequent flyer levy over other options to tackle climate change – including doing nothing.
A new law to drastically reduce deadly blindspots in trucks and buses came a step closer when MEPs signed off on a ‘direct vision’ requirement. It would see new heavy-duty vehicles being designed so that drivers can see more of the road around them, including pedestrians and cyclists.
At least a quarter of new buses bought by local authorities and public companies will need to be clean vehicles by 2025, EU lawmakers decided last week. More than 75% of buses in Europe are publicly procured, and these purchases and leases will be subject to nationwide binding targets based on the fuels the vehicles run on, in the cases of buses and trucks, and their emissions in the cases of cars and vans.
The British government has unveiled a new clean air ‘strategy’ aimed at improving air quality in the UK’s urban areas. T&E has said the plan is eye-catching in some respects but essentially just repeats policies that have failed to clean up transport in the past.
One of Europe’s leading airlines has announced it is buying synthetic aviation fuel as a way of reducing its carbon impact. Lufthansa wants 5% of the fuel it uses at Hamburg airport to be almost zero-carbon over the next five years. It plans to use a near emissions-free alternative to kerosene produced with currently unclaimed renewable electricity from a local windfarm. T&E welcomed the initiative which will hopefully spur similar moves by governments and others in the aviation industry towards low and zero-carbon fuels.
Several years of campaigning to make large trucks safer and more aerodynamic have finally come to fruition. Earlier this month EU transport ministers agreed to allow more streamlined truck cabs on Europe’s roads from 1 September 2020. T&E said the decision signalled an end to years of EU rules holding back safety and fuel-efficiency.
The European Commission has published proposals to revise its reporting rules on ships’ emissions data which are aimed at enabling those who charter ships to pick the cleanest and most efficient vessels. T&E has welcomed the proposals, but says the Commission is wrong to concede on the need to report cargo data.
Palm oil expansion is increasing deforestation, ravaging some of the planet’s remaining rainforests and our most precious wildlife.But we can change this! Click here to sign the petition.
Truck CO2 emissions should be reduced by 15% in 2025 and 30% in 2030, compared to 2019 levels, EU environment ministers have said. They agreed their joint position on the EU’s first ever truck CO2 reduction targets this week and will enter negotiations with the European Parliament and Commission in early 2019.