Just before a crucial vote by MEPs, associations of shippers and cargo owners have called on the European Parliament, Council and Commission to include shipping emissions in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) under a special fund. In two letters sent yesterday, the shipping industry’s customers backed the Parliament environment committee’s proposal to regulate the sector via a Maritime Climate Fund from 2023 “if IMO (the UN’s International Maritime Organisation) does not deliver a global measure to address shipping GHG emissions”.
Transport ministers from eight countries have united to demand new EU-wide standards for vehicle safety. Safer vehicles, such as trucks with improved direct vision to eradicate blind spots, need to be rolled out fast, the governments – which include those of France, Germany and Italy – told internal market commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska in a letter. In 2015, 26,000 Europeans died in traffic accidents but the number of fatalities has stagnated since 2013 – despite the EU demanding that member states halve the number of road deaths by 2020.
Today’s vote by MEPs to reform vehicle emissions testing moves Europe one step closer to injecting rigour and independence into its flawed system of car testing, green transport NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The European Parliament’s internal market committee (IMCO) strengthened the European Commission’s proposal in several key areas including granting unrestricted powers to the Commission to check cars on the road and penalise carmakers as well as national approval authorities not doing their job.
The Italian government’s Dieselgate investigation allowed Fiat cars to be tested at the carmaker’s testing facility, the leaked results show. Other manufacturers’ vehicles were independently tested but the Italian carmaker used its Turin facilities to pass – and three out of seven Fiat-Chrysler cars were even “exempted” from undergoing more demanding tests. The shockingly easy treatment of Italy’s domestic carmaker is revealed in the government’s official report that had been presented to a European parliamentary committee (EMIS) but never officially published.
Aviation is even further away from doing its fair share to achieve the Paris climate goals after the European Commission proposed today that CO2 from flights to and from Europe should continue to go unregulated in the EU emissions trading system (ETS), sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The Commission’s decision cuts across the conclusions of its own impact assessment that even if the recent UN global aviation deal gets off the ground it will fall well short of the required ambition.
A typical driver spends €549 a year more on fuel than official figures claim and the use of these “alternative facts” must end says the pan-European campaign Get Real – Demand fuel figures you can trust that is being launched today. Setup by Germany’s Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and Brussels-based European Federation for Transport & Environment (T&E), the online tool get-real.org highlights the costs and environmental impact of cars guzzling fuel. The campaign encourages consumers and politicians to demand realistic fuel consumption figures from carmakers.
Today’s vote by MEPs to call for a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO), the dirtiest of all fuel types, by ships when operating in the Arctic has been welcomed by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment. In the event of an oil spill arising from a shipping accident, HFO is impossible to fully clean-up – with catastrophic effects on extremely vulnerable Arctic habitats. But the UN’s maritime body, the IMO, has so far failed to extend the prohibition to the northern polar region.
Today the European Commission published guidelines for member states to interpret the 2007 emissions law and identify illegal defeat devices being used by carmakers to cheat emissions tests. T&E welcomed the move, which will deny governments the excuses they have used for failing to regulate engines emitting poisonous fumes. However, as the guidelines are not applied retroactively, they will not address the millions of polluting cars that have already been sold.
The Board of sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has today announced William Todts as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Jos Dings, who this week leaves the position after 13 years.
MEPs today missed a vital opportunity to redflag the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) over its flawed investment tribunal system and toothless environment provisions, green group Transport & Environment has said. Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee rejected the rapporteur’s opinion that was highly critical of the deal and its impact on human health and the planet.