Transport Brief – Dodgy diesel, awful airports and surprising sheep

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Diesel’s big selling point used to be its lower carbon footprint but new research, by the people that blew the lid off the Dieselgate scandal, has cast serious doubt on that established logic. They are now calling for the fuel’s privileged tax perks to be scrapped.

A leaked European Commission study has revealed that taxing jet fuel would slash aviation’s carbon emissions by 11% and only have a negligible impact on employment and GDP. It follows the launch of an official petition calling for levies.

What do you think of the idea? Would you pay more to jet away on holiday to reduce emissions? Take our twitter poll.

Europe’s airports are among the world’s worst, say passengers. Lisbon is rooted to the bottom of the ranking, while Athens just made the top three. What’s to blame? Apparently, the weather.

Trains regularly make the China-Europe trip laden with goods these days. This rail chief wants the existing corridors improved instead of building new ones, while tech like 5G has a big part to play.

German motor giant Daimler is going carbon neutral by 2039. Will that disrupt the industry and change how carmakers do business? This op-ed is worth your time.

The International Maritime Organisation is currently in session in London, with the future of shipping on the agenda. Catholic institutions decided ahead of the meeting to divest from maritime-connected fossil fuels.

Luxembourg has signed a space commerce pact with the US. The Grand Duchy is ready to make asteroid mining a reality, although if the agreement involves trade Lux could see its hands tied by EU rules.

Brussels’ mobility chief said he wants no more petrol or diesel cars in the Belgian capital after 2030. He also took a swipe at a rival party and said they would make a mess of the Notre Dame reconstruction if given the chance…

Eurostar security staff in Paris got a shock when someone tried to take a WW2 bomb on board the high-speed train. It caused plenty of delays.

Sheep are such a useful animal. France’s railway operator is using a herd of them to keep the grass cut on the edge of the train tracks near Strasbourg. Hopefully, Malback the sheepdog will keep them in line.

What else I’m reading this week:

Next stops

The IMO will stay in session until the end of the week. Expect announcements about shipping emissions and speed limits. France and Greece favour the latter, while Germany and Denmark want stricter standards.

French MEPs Karima Delli and Dominique Riquet will speak in Paris this evening about mobility and the European elections. Details here.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s three-day environmental symposium kicks off in Montreal today.

An 18 May deadline for Donald Trump to impose tariffs on EU car imports. Brussels is finalising a retaliatory list but the bloc’s trade bloc expects the US president to delay the decision.

Formula One bosses are set to announce later today that a Dutch race will appear on next year’s calendar for the first time in 35 years.

Upcoming events

Join us in Brussels on 15 May for the final stages of the Sci-Tech Challenge, where the young competitors will present their plans for upgrading and modernising Brussels’ transport network. Check the programme and sign up here.

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