This blog post was co-written by Courtenay Lewis, trade campaign representative at the Sierra Club, and was originally published by Huffingtonpost.com
Two proposed trade deals – the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA), and the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – have attracted widespread international criticism by threatening to give unrivaled, unfettered "investment" rights to multinational corporations, including the world's worst polluters. While the text of CETA has been finalized and made public and TTIP is in an earlier phase of secretive negotiations, both still require formal ratification. It's not too late – the EU, U.S. and Canada should eliminate corporate-empowering rules from trade agreements rather than falsely claim that the rules have been "reformed" for the better.
Margrethe Vestager, European Competition commissioner has announced that she is stepping up the anti-trust and cartel investigation against EU truckmakers. The Commission suspects several truckmakers of price fixing and anti-competitive behaviour. Cartel behaviour hampers innovation in safety and fuel efficiency.
It now seems that the revision of the Energy Tax Directive (ETD) is dead. Given how negotiations have been dragging on for three and a half years while only eating away at everything the Commission proposal sought to achieve, it is probably good to call it a day and start afresh.
Philippa Edmunds is freight on rail manager at the UK Campaign for Better Transport and a T&E board member
To understand the grievous concerns about the safety of lorries on our roads you only need look at their record in my country, Britain. Heavy good vhicles (HGV) accidents, especially those involving cyclists, are a key issue for transport in the UK at the moment. In London, lorries were involved in over half of cyclists' deaths even though they only made up 5% of traffic in both 2011 and 2012 . HGVs were involved in 51% of fatal collisions on UK motorways – even though they only made up 11 per cent of motorway traffic in 2012 .
The first of November is the new European Commission’s first day. Thousands of newspaper pages have been filled across Europe with the shenanigans and politics surrounding the nomination process. This blog will not seek to add an additional one.
This blogpost was first posted on TTIP2014.eu.
100,000 submissions  to a public consultation is a lot on any subject, and particularly when the subject is the finer points of a proposed international trade deal. But having been extended for a week, the signs are that the European Commission’s public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has attracted a number of responses that could be in this region. It closed on Sunday, July 13th.
This blogpost was first published by the Parliament Magazine.
The EU took some small but welcome steps towards reforming its biofuels policy on 13 June when the council of energy ministers agreed a position. Clearly the content of this agreement - food-based biofuels capped at seven per cent of petrol and diesel sold, and weak national targets for advanced biofuels - is far from satisfactory as it is still fails to differentiate among the various types of biofuels and reward those with better environmental performance.
This blogpost was first published by EurActiv on 19 June 2014.
Recent protests greeted the first major shipment of high-carbon Canadian tar sands oil to enter Europe, with 600,000 barrels arriving at a Bilbao refinery. On almost exactly the same day, EU media reported that the European Commission is planning to weaken the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), a law to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of Europe's transport fuels by 6% by 2020, in order to appease oil industry, Canadian and US government lobbying. As is often the case, there is some truth to the reports on the FQD - but from the version of the draft proposal that T&E has seen, we can say that there are still some useful elements in this weakened text.
This article was first published in Parliament Magazine on 13 June 2014
The Ukraine crisis highlights the urgent need to rethink Europe’s energy use and dependence. Two thirds of EU oil use is in transport, and transport itself is still almost 100 per cent dependent on oil. A third of the EU’s oil comes from Russia, entailing a massive capital transfer of around €100bn a year.
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