T&E Annual Report 2023

A story of resilience amidst climate backlash and green fatigue

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At times it felt like the story of 2023 was an endless tale of climate backlash and green fatigue. The battle over London’s ultra low emissions zone (ULEZ) became part of the UK’s culture war, a coalition of EU politicians sought to derail the phase-out of fossil cars, and the heat pump ‘debacle’ almost brought down the German government. Meanwhile, right-wing parties are on the march across Europe. The real story, though, is one of remarkable resilience and optimism.

The year started with the German government’s minor coalition partner, the Free Democrats (the FDP), launching an attack on the EU’s 2022 agreement to phase out combustion cars. T&E swung into action in Brussels and its national offices to protect the deal. For a moment it seemed as if the support for 100% electric vehicles in 2035 would unravel. It didn’t.

EU lawmakers also supported the world’s most ambitious truck CO2 standards, voted on a nature restoration law and completely overhauled the EU’s economic and industrial policies to support the bloc’s decarbonisation goals. The EU also announced the world’s most ambitious fuels laws for aviation and shipping, which means for the first time ever these sectors will have to invest in a minimum volume of green fuels. 

As oil and gas companies continue to push fake solutions like LNG and dodgy biofuels, T&E was holding the line. Last year also saw the launch of our leasing campaign, where T&E shone a light on these unknown giants of the auto world, to push them to move faster on electrification. Our campaigning against greenwashing reached an all time high in 2023, as T&E continued to call out EU lawmakers for including polluting sectors such as aviation and shipping in the EU taxonomy, its trademark list of sustainable investments.

In 2023, T&E continued the pivot towards its national offices, and strengthened its ties with its members in the EU and the UK. Decarbonising our transport system and resisting backlash needs to be fought on the national level as much as the EU level, and it will only happen through those that understand the regulatory and societal background best. The technologies are there to green our transport system. What is key now is to show why the rapid transition benefits everyone.

Annual Report 2023

A story of resilience amidst climate backlash and green fatigue

Read the report