The European Commission has given the green light for Germany to provide €431 million (£383m) of public support for cleaner transport. The funding will be provided through three schemes the government intends to set up to retrofit municipal and commercial diesel vehicles, including rubbish trucks and delivery and cleaning vehicles. The support will be available in more than 60 municipalities where national limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions were exceeded in 2017 and will cover the costs of both the retrofitting systems and their installations.
Energy Live News 20th June 2019 read more »
Britain wants to be a world leader in the fight against climate change. Committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050 is an admirable but expensive and equally difficult goal to achieve. Counter-intuitively, cutting taxes on fossil fuels now may be a better place to start than continuing to milk dry the majority of road users until they are forced into electric cars. One idea could be to abolish fuel duty all together and instead levy a single charge for vehicle road use, which would treat all motorists equally based on their type of transport. This could be structured as an annual payment that would replace the existing system of road tax and fuel duty. It would also limit the Government’s exposure to a catastrophic loss of revenue if consumers switch to electric vehicles quicker than expected.
Telegraph 21st June 2019 read more »
John Finnie: Too often the effects of ecological collapse are viewed as distant or in the abstract. Those resistant to change are happy to pay lip service to the environment but when it comes to taking steps to actually address the issues they quickly change their tune. The bluster from Tories, Labour and the LibDems on my workplace parking levy amendments is a prime example. There are swathes of Scotland which are currently choked by air pollution. Exposure to noxious fumes is a contributing factor to an alarming number of deaths every year, and cars on the road are a big part of the problem. The workplace parking levy isn’t going to be imposed by central government, rather local authorities, who have serious issues with traffic congestion and air pollution. They will be able to apply the measure in a way that’s appropriate for their area, if they apply it at all. A similar scheme already runs in Nottingham. There council officials have seen a positive impact on pollution and congestion. It has also raised £50 million, which the authority has reinvested into public transport. That’s a substantial sum and while we need as many tools as possible to tackle the climate emergency, improved public transport is one of the most effective. The ultimate point is that public transport coverage in Scotland could be so much better than it is. The changes we need to make to address the climate emergency don’t have to involve pain and sacrifice. Instead they represent an opportunity. Investment and improvement in the nations transport network will make a huge contribution in terms of meeting our emissions targets but it will also make it easier, cheaper and more pleasant to travel across the country. The process of fighting back against ecological collapse is one that involves all of us, but if we take the radical action needed we’ll have built a better Scotland.
The National 21st June 2019 read more »