Polluters pay, aviation angst & no cars go

Subscribe for free to our weekly brief, sent every Tuesday.

Welcome to EURACTIV’s weekly Transport Brief – your one port of call for all the news moving the world and much more! Sign up here for free.

Starting in Germany, a first draft of a climate protection law aims to make transport pay to pollute. It suggests tagging a carbon price of €10 per tonne on the sector, which would rise to €35 by 2025. The EU trading scheme is currently hovering just over the €25 mark.

The UK government intends to plough £1bln into a climate technology fund. It will channel investment towards clean mobility, battery tech and solar power.

Heavy haulers, boats and even planes are not off limits when it comes to electric power. Read all about it here in our special mobility report.

Shipping is one of the tough eggs to crack but more than 60 companies have announced that they plan to get zero-emission vessels into service by 2030. It includes sector giant Maersk.

A UN aviation emissions offsetting scheme should not null-and-void the EU’s own carbon trading market, the Commission has confirmed. ‘CORSIA’ will soon enter a test phase but the issue of the exclusivity clause is certain to remain on the radar.

The EU executive also continues to back itself when it comes to connected car tech. Efforts to roll out standardised measures collapsed earlier this year over a WiFi vs 5G dispute.

Romanian politician Rovana Plumb is on course to be the bloc’s next transport chief. But she will face hard questions from the European Parliament about her past dealings. The hearing is scheduled for 2 October.

The new Commission has already been asked to “pick the right battles” and make sure rules are well tailored to different types of vehicles. The head of one major association has flagged truck driver safety as a real cause for concern.

In Ireland, the main rail company has taken the unusual step of asking commuters to check for less busy times in order to help ease congestion. 

Train operators are going on the offensive in France and Switzerland, where a half-billion-euro warchest and promises of free WiFi hope to kill plane journeys between the two countries. Seats and services are set to increase.

It’s farewell to the world’s oldest travel company: Thomas Cook went bust, leaving thousands of holidaymakers potentially stranded. Brexit uncertainty has, unsurprisingly, been cited as a factor.

Good news for many of the stricken tourists affected by the firm’s nosedive though, as EU rules mean many will be able to claim compensation. A fact almost gleefully pointed out by Czech Commissioner Věra Jourová.

The EU’s top court sided with a Chinese company in a dispute over the iconic Vespa scooter. Italian motorcycle maker Piaggio had claimed that its intellectual property had been violated but judges were unconvinced.

Cars were persona non grata on some of Europe’s streets this weekend. Brussels residents made the most of the empty thoroughfares (and cleaner air) but in Luxembourg you’d have been hard-pressed to tell the difference from a normal Sunday.

Some of the EU’s top names embraced some form of clean mobility: Maggie Vestager went out biking, Violeta Bulc test-drove a fuel cell car and Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová chose to walk between UN meetings. 

Picture of the week 

Tesla has installed a charger at the world-famous Nürburgring race track for any wannabe e-racers to use.

What else I’m reading / listening to

Next stops

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) kicks off its general assembly today. CORSIA, climate change and the Boeing MAX groundings are set to feature.

Maroš Šefčovič will enlighten us about his new duties and provide an update about where the fledgling battery alliance stands these days. Look out for the interview.

On 26 September, it is European Day Without a Road Death. Last year, 17 countries recorded no fatalities.

EU transport Commissioner-elect Rovana Plumb faces MEPs on 2 October.

**Due to circumstances of a holiday-based nature, the Transport Brief will return on Wednesday next week instead of Tuesday!**

Like what you see? Sign up to the full newsletter here, for free

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.