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T&E Bulletin 208 - May 2012

Par L'informateur • Les autres nouvelles • Samedi 19/05/2012 • 0 commentaires • Version imprimable

Transport and Environment - Bulletin / News and views from the field of transport and environment in Europe
Transport and Environment - Bulletin / News and views from the field of transport and environment in Europe

The printable version of the May 2012 T&E bulletin can be downloaded from our website.

Did you know?  You can now follow T&E news on the social networks Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

May 2012:

Opinion
By Jos Dings - T&E Director
The air in Brussels is thick with talk about the need to boost economic growth. As if any proof were needed, the French and Greek elections have once again demonstrated that people don’t like austerity. So talking about growth is politically quite obvious.

The Commission is postponing a decision on how to assess the climatic impact of non-conventional sources of transport fuel such as tar sands and oil shale. A decision was expected in June, but Brussels has ordered an assessment of the impact of giving high-carbon sources a higher climate rating, which means no final judgement will be made until next year. The postponement came just days after T&E published a study saying reducing greenhouse gas emissions from petrol and diesel production will cost less to administer than the oil industry says.

The EU’s 27 commissioners have recognised that indirect land-use change (Iluc) caused by the EU’s biofuels policy has to be addressed seriously, but at a meeting earlier this month they failed to reach a decision on how to deal with it. The 27 rejected a compromise put forward by the EU's energy and climate directorates, and asked the two departments to work out a more ambitious proposal. T&E has welcomed the call for more ambition, but has criticised this latest delay in finding a solution.
The fight against traffic noise is being directed at MEPs, as the European Parliament’s environment committee prepares for a vital vote in July. T&E and two other Brussels-based NGOs have published an internet video highlighting the problem, while a report for T&E published last month showed the benefits of ambitious vehicle noise legislation would outweigh the costs by 30 times.
The chances of the aviation industry being able to avoid the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme via a legal challenge through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are not good, according to a specialist in WTO affairs.
With the battle over whether oversized lorries, known as ‘megatrucks’, should be allowed to cross EU national borders, an extension of the fight is now emerging as Sweden has given the green light for even longer lorries to operate between Göteborg and Malmö. T&E is worried that the Commission’s proposed ‘reinterpretation’ of existing weights and dimensions rules for lorries would effectively leave Europe with no limits at all.
More than 80% of respondents to a Commission survey are in favour of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from heavy vehicles, and two thirds say it must be done through legislation and not left to voluntary measures.
A new report says there is still a risk that Cohesion Policy money will be used for environmentally harmful transport, even with the Commission’s commitment to promote climate-friendly transport projects.
The International Energy Agency says current energy trends indicate a long-term temperature increase of 6C. A new report Tracking Clean Energy Progress says there is no stabilisation of greenhouse gas emissions in sight, and that if this continues, energy use in 2050 will be twice that of 2009, leading to a long-term temperature rise of 6C.

 


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