On the eve of a key meeting of European energy ministers to discuss the EU’s biofuels strategy, three of Europe’s leading environmental organisations have warned that EU policies promoting biofuels may cause more environmental damage than the conventional fuels they are designed to replace if important environmental safeguards are not put in place.
The EU is about to embark on an unsustainable new transport policy which has little or no economic justification and undermines several other key European policies according to The Green 10 group of environmental NGOs in a letter sent today to Commission President José Manuel Barroso. Download the full letter.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather views on progress made since the Biofuels directive was adopted in 2003. The consultation will inform the Commission's progress report which will form the basis of a revised directive. To find out more, see the Commission website.
The Green 10 group of environmental NGOs have written to European Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting on 5 May (ECOFIN council meeting) urging them to play an active role in Europe's ongoing revision of its Sustainable Development Strategy.
19/04/06, Brussels - Carmakers are defaulting on their pledge to tackle climate change, new figures show. Last year, car industry efforts to improve fuel efficiency achieved a third of the rate needed to meet a commitment they made to the EU in 1998.
Jos Dings, director of T&E writes in today's Financial Times:
Stefan Lorentzson of Volvo (Letters, March 22), seems to suggest that Europe should stop promoting road charging schemes for trucks because "higher charges for road will not result in the desired shift to rail". But this reasoning fails to acknowledge one of the main additional benefits of road charging, namely the dramatic improvements in the efficiency of the road haulage industry that result.
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.