EU countries today agreed to strengthen rules governing how cars are approved for sale in Europe, with the goal of preventing another dieselgate. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the decision but warns that only proper scrutiny and real enforcement of the new rules will prevent carmakers from cheating again.
A group of 18 major European cities have written to Commission President Juncker urging him to prioritise road safety by mandating a direct vision standard for trucks as soon as possible. Cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels and Copenhagen are re-designing existing roads and cutting vehicle speeds but say they cannot be successful "if we do not also improve in parallel the safety of the cars, vans and trucks".
The French president has reiterated his call for a European carbon tax on the EU’s borders to guarantee fair competition for companies taking action to reduce their climate impact. The idea – which featured in T&E’s report, Can trade and investment policy support ambitious climate action?, last month – has been gathering momentum and was previously endorsed by IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman.
Reacting to FuelsEurope's study on EURO 6 diesel cars performance, Greg Archer, clean vehicles director of Transport & Environment, said: "The oil industry’s crystal ball assumes that emissions from new cars on the road will be as low as during tests – but history suggests this is wishful thinking. The reality is that diesel emissions are so complex to control they will always be higher on the road so the study underestimates the likely future contribution of diesel vehicles. Despite this, the analysis still shows that the toxic air will still be poisoning some urban residents in 2030! Replacing dirty diesels and ultimately all vehicles with engines with zero emission alternatives, or banning them from city centres, is the only way to ensure it will be safe to breath."
Electrofuels are neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution to decarbonise road transport, a new independent study has found. The study, conducted by consultancy Cerulogy for NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), concludes that e-fuels could supply a limited amount of aviation's growing energy needs but only if the electricity comes from new renewable sources with strict sustainability criteria. T&E said the EU must ensure only e-fuels produced from renewables, such as wind and solar, can be eligible under the advanced fuels target and that it should adopt measures to avoid double counting of renewable electricity under the Renewable Energy Directive.
The industry committee of the European Parliament voted today to reinstate a ‘renewable’ energy target for transport in 2030 . Such a target would continue subsidising the use of high-emitting, food-based biofuels, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) and development NGO Oxfam said. If passed in the plenary of the Parliament, it would increase emissions in transport, push up global food prices and negatively impact people around the world who live from the land.
Today’s call by MEPs to ban the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic and put in place greenhouse gas reduction measures by 2023 must be followed through with speedy action by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), said sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). Both Arctic HFO and climate action will be discussed by the IMO environment committee in April 2018, and today’s vote by the European Parliament environment committee also demanded action at EU level if the IMO fails to act on either issue. 
Emails between Airbus and the European Commission show that, when drafting climate rules for new aircraft, Airbus was given special privileges in determining essential aspects of the EU’s position at the United Nations’ aviation body (ICAO). The result is a global aircraft standard which will do nothing to cut the sector’s soaring emissions and a regulatory process steeped in secrecy and corporate interests, entirely removed from the normal European democratic process. NGO Transport & Environment obtained the emails via an access to documents request, after Airbus and ICAO opposed the public disclosure of the emails. The correspondence was finally released after an 18-month appeal process.
MEPs have called for standards of 'direct vision' – attuned to different truck types – to be proposed by the European Commission when it overhauls vehicle safety rules early next year. Direct vision standards will set out the area surrounding a truck cab the driver must be able to see without using mirrors or cameras, thus improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
The European Commission and EU member states look set to agree to almost entirely remove sustainability criteria for bio jet fuel at the UN’s aviation agency (ICAO) Council meeting today in Montreal. The countries gathered at the ICAO meeting will trash ten sustainability points out of 12, which will mean that highly unsustainable biofuels would qualify for the aviation’s global carbon offsetting scheme dubbed CORSIA.