International coalition of NGOs, #NotInMyTank, invites all like-minded primates to join the huddle. Orangutans have announced gatherings in front of EU representation offices in Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, and Rome on Monday 21 January. They’re marching against the deforestation caused by the use of palm oil in biofuels (so-called ‘green’ or ‘bio’ diesel).
Crunch time approaches for a proposed policy change regarding palm oil and biofuels in Europe. Today, an unprecedented array of Indonesian indigenous and civil society actors speak out in defense of phasing out palm oil in biofuels. In an open letter to the European Commission, hundreds of leaders of Indonesian indigenous communities, smallholder organizations, human rights organizations and environmental NGOs warn of the potential environmental and human rights consequences of a continued EU support for palm oil-based biofuels.
The UK government’s new air pollution plan simply repeats existing plans that have failed to clean up transport – instead of proposing effective new emissions controls, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The Clean Air Strategy published today does not even set out when nitrogen dioxide (NOx) limits – which are widely breached in British cities and should have been met in 2010 – will be achieved. Diesel cars are the main source of NOx emissions in urban areas.
EU environment ministers today called for truck CO2 emissions to be reduced by 15% in 2025 and 30% in 2030, compared to 2019 levels. The European NGO federation Transport & Environment (T&E) said the decision is an important step in agreeing the EU’s first-ever CO2 reduction targets as soon as possible, but warned that the ministers’ ambition falls far short of what’s required to meet Europe’s 2030 climate targets and help hauliers reduce CO2 emissions and fuel costs.
The French National Assembly today voted to end tax incentives for adding palm oil to diesel fuel as of 2020, effectively removing a powerful subsidy that made this environmentally destructive practice economically attractive for oil companies. French parliamentarians also decided to treat palm oil diesel as a regular fuel and not as a green fuel – therefore it cannot count towards Europe´s targets for renewable energy in transport.
The European Parliament, Commission and Council just agreed to cut carbon emissions from new cars and vans by 15% in 2025 and 37.5% in 2030, compared to 2021 levels. The European federation of transport NGOs, Transport & Environment (T&E), welcomes the agreement. However, T&E warns that the deal is well below what’s needed to achieve the EU’s 2030 climate targets or indeed meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, which requires the last car with an engine to be sold by the early 2030s.
European transport is costing society over €1 trillion a year through air pollution, carbon emissions, congestion, accidents and other ‘external costs’, a major new study by the European Commission has found. And citizens rather than transport users are paying most of these costs – in violation of the ‘polluter pays’ principle. Green transport group Transport & Environment said that governments can fix this by shifting taxes away from citizens’ incomes and instead taxing the sources of pollution and congestion.
MEPs today voted for €10 billion of the EU’s transport infrastructure budget to be spent on smart, sustainable and safe transport projects like re-charging stations and railway signaling upgrades. Transport & Environment (T&E) said that, with the COP climate conference in Poland ongoing, the vote signals that the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will help meet climate targets.
Flight ticket taxes which were first introduced to compensate for revenue lost due to aviation’s VAT exemption can be restructured to deliver greater environmental benefits, a new independent study has found. From taxing the carbon content of fuels to charging planes based on their fuel efficiency, EU governments have several options to encourage airlines to reduce their environmental impact while still raising money to allow tax cuts for citizens and improve public services, the report for green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said. More than half the EU aviation market is subject to ticket taxes.
Late last night in the 4th negotiation round the Austrian Presidency of the EU, the Commission and EU Parliament failed to reach an agreement on CO2 targets for cars and vans up to 2030. T&E deplores the stubbornness of the Austrian government in rejecting all Parliament’s and other Member States’ compromises and urges European countries and the Commission to start negotiating seriously.