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T&E Bulletin 221 - September 2013

Par L'informateur • Les autres nouvelles • Vendredi 04/10/2013 • 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 September 2013 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

September 2013:

A deal in the hand is better than two in the bush


In the span of a week the world will learn a lot from the UN about the future of its climate policy, but unfortunately, in very contradictory ways.



Vote on biofuels creates more uncertainty


The vote in the European Parliament’s plenary session in September put EU biofuels policy a step closer to being environmentally useful, but it will likely lead to delays in final agreement, which creates further uncertainty for the industry. MEPs voted to limit the use of land-based biofuels and to recognise the problem of indirect land-use change (ILUC) in future biofuels laws. But they failed to give a negotiating mandate, which would enable all institutions to conclude the agreement before the next year’s elections.



Merkel fights German carmakers’ battle


Germany’s luxury carmakers are raising the stakes in their battle to weaken EU legislation that will set fuel consumption limits for new cars made after 2020. The German chancellor Angela Merkel used a speech at this month’s Frankfurt motor show to say that strict limits would damage European carmakers’ competitiveness in global markets. Yet T&E’s eighth annual Cars & CO2 report shows that EU legislation is speeding up improvements to fuel efficiency, which in turn leads to drivers saving money at the fuel pump.



EU concedes on global aviation emissions reduction


The EU has proposed a compromise on applying its Emissions Trading System to all international flights involving EU airports. The compromise has been offered in the hope that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will take more ambitious action to decide to develop and implement a global market-based measure to reduce emissions from international aviation. Environmental organisations criticised the move as conceding too much in return for no guarantee of a meaningful outcome at ICAO’s triennial assembly, which runs until 4 October.



Acting now is cheaper than delaying, two new studies warn


Two new reports have highlighted the dangers of governments delaying action to limit transport emissions. A study from Germany says economic growth will be much harder to achieve if international action to cut climate-changing emissions is not achieved by 2015. And a study from the UK on how carbon emissions from aircraft contribute to global warming has also stressed the importance of acting now, not in several years.



Accidents and new figures show dangers of melting Arctic ice


The amount of ice in the Arctic has shrunk again, leading scientists to speculate that the North Pole could be completely ice-free in summer by the middle of this century.



Air pollution from barges


The European Commission says it wants to reduce air pollution from barges as a way of making freight transport by inland waterways more environmentally friendly. 



French lorry tax delay


The French government has delayed by three months the introduction of its distance-based eco-tax on lorries. The tax was to have come into effect on 1 October, but has been put back to the start of 2014. The French transport minister blamed technical difficulties, but one of T&E’s French members – France Nature Environnement – said this is just the latest in a series of delaying tactics by hauliers and shippers who want the tax either delayed indefinitely or severely watered down. The eco-tax, which will apply to lorries over 3.5 tonnes using about 15,000km of main roads that are not part of the tolled Péage network, is expected to earn the French government €1.2 billion a year – which means the three-month delay will cost it around €300 million.



Alpine transport protocol signed


The transport protocol of the Alpine Convention has entered into force in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovenia, having been ratified by the EU over the summer. The Alpine Convention is an international treaty signed by the eight Alpine countries and the EU, aimed at protecting the Alps. Its transport protocol was agreed in 2000, and has a clause that states: ‘The contracting parties shall refrain from constructing any new large-capacity roads for transalpine transport.’ However, Italy held out against ratification until it was persuaded to sign a year ago, and Switzerland has refused to sign the transport protocol, leaving its legal standing in some doubt.