Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes European Commission’s proposal today on smart road tolls and its commitment to zero-emission mobility. The Commission also reaffirmed its commitment to set stricter CO2 standards for cars, vans and, for the first time, trucks. These are moves in the right direction, but the real test of the EU’s intentions will be the ambition of the CO2 standards and whether it proposes a zero-emission vehicle mandate, the sustainable transport group said.
MEPs today voted to increase the ambition of the EU’s most powerful climate law, the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). While the ESR still fails to meet the aims of the Paris agreement, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the European Parliament environment committee’s backing for a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and for closing some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
MEPs and the European Commission must stand firm on delivering a proper fix of Europe’s system of testing and approving cars, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment has said, after EU governments today agreed to waterdown some of the reforms. Governments opposed independent EU-level oversight of national type approval authorities – the regulators which allowed Volkswagen and other carmakers to cheat vehicle emissions tests and put 35 million dirty diesel cars on our roads. 
Fuel consumption of new trucks could be reduced by 33% in the 2020–2030 timeframe if manufacturers introduce proven fuel efficiency technologies, a new independent study by Ricardo Energy & Environment, a consultancy, has found. The improvements would be cost-effective for hauliers as virtually all of the fuel savings could be achieved within a payback time of less than three years, according to the researchers.
A coalition of industry, NGOs, consumer groups and cities are calling on the European Commission to urgently bring forward new minimum safety standards for new cars, vans and trucks, after years of delays. The European Commission is expected to announce a new package of transport legislation next week, the groups are calling for an announcement on updates to vehicle safety regulations to be included.
More than one-and-a-half years after the dieselgate scandal erupted the number of dirty diesels poisoning the air Europeans breathe keeps growing. New T&E research shows that there are 35 million of these diesel cars and vans driving on Europe’s roads today, six million more than in 2015. These Euro 5 and 6 diesel cars and vans were sold in Europe between 2011 and 2016 and exceed the nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits by at least three times (1).
Truck manufacturers will be obliged to measure their fuel consumption with the VECTO test procedure from 2019 onwards. Agreed today by the European Commission and Member States, this tool is designed to make the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from new heavy-goods vehicles available for truck buyers.
There is no evidence that reducing emissions in agriculture is more difficult or less cost effective than in other sectors, a new independent study has found. In fact, there is significant untapped potential to reduce farming’s climate emissions, the Institute for European Environmental Policy said. Tomorrow MEPs will vote on expanding the use of controversial forestry credits and other loopholes to help sectors such as agriculture and transport meet their climate targets under the EU’s draft Effort Sharing Regulation. 
Governments from major carmaking countries – notably Germany, Italy and Spain – are holding back efforts to strengthen the system of testing and approving vehicles that has allowed millions of air-polluting cars on Europe’s roads, according to official documents and informal minutes seen by Transport & Environment (T&E). The three governments oppose new checks by the European Commission to confirm that cars, once sold, continue to produce acceptable levels of emissions.
The European Commission published a damning study of carbon offsets, finding that 85% of the offset projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to date failed in the objective of reducing emissions. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the aviation sector runs the risk of repeating these mistakes in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) global scheme to offset aircraft emissions. The sustainable transport NGO called for strict rules to be put in place, and for the EU not to rely exclusively on this offsetting deal to address aircraft emissions.