Ahead of the Environment Council on 9th March, a coalition of environmental NGOs focusing on European policy today launch a dynamic and comprehensive programme for the sustainable development of the EU. The programme urges Europe’s leaders and decision-makers to action with a set of concrete proposals to transform the EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy into an ambitious but achievable game plan.
The air ticket tax under discussion at an international aid conference in Paris this week, will have environmental benefits according to T&E, Europe’s principal sustainable transport organisation. From July, a French ‘air solidarity tax’ will add an estimated 1% to ticket prices, resulting in a reduction of demand for air travel of 1% with a corresponding reduction of 1% in harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
T&E has joined CAN-Europe, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and WWF in a letter to European Energy Ministers ahead of their meeting on 14 March. The five environmental groups urge Ministers "to initiate concrete measures that will make Europe’s energy policies truly sustainable and resource efficient, and, therefore, more competitive."
T&E's Aat Peterse writes in today's Financial Times:
Another reason there are so few diesel cars in the US is strict air pollution standards ("Carmakers display a cleaner side of diesel", January 31). But as your article pointed out, the technology now exists to make cleaner diesel engines and several European carmakers have been showing it off at the Detroit motor show. It is strange then that the latest emissions standards for new cars proposed by the European Commission (Euro 5) do not take these technical advances into account.
In a letter sent today to European Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas, T&E and four other environmental groups call on the EU to commit to sustainable biofuel production.
European car manufacturers will soon be selling dirtier diesel cars in their home market than they export to the United States if the European Commission’s proposed 'EURO 5' emissions standards are approved.
T&E regrets today’s European Parliament vote on rules that govern lorry tolls because Member States will be prevented from including environmental and health costs for several years. T&E now urges Member States to introduce tolls that take advantage of the limited environmental benefits that the new rules could bring, now that some of the worst restrictions of the current scheme will be lifted.
The Green 10 group of environmental NGOs has written to the permanent representatives of EU member states urging them to maintain environmental priorities during negotiations over the next EU budget.
The CARS 21 'high-level group' of car industry executives and European Commission officials has failed on its promise to deliver a “clean” and “lean” strategy for new cars, says the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E). The ten-year road map for European car regulation published in today's final report contains no new policies to combat rising overall emissions and several existing policies are set to be weakened.
Jos Dings, Director of T&E writes in today's Financial Times:
It should not only be the green movement that is "angered by the likelihood that the motor industry will miss its 2008 target for carbon reduction". Car drivers, politicians and supporters of Europe's technology sector should also be worried.