Tag Archive: Green Deal

  1. European grand alliance urges EU to find new ways to effectuate Green Deal

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    Source: The Mayor

    The Local Alliance, a coalition of eight leading networks of regions and cities from across the continent, is dedicated to advancing the sustainable interests of local and regional communities. In a joint letter addressed to EU leaders, the Local Alliance emphasises that the success of Europe’s Green Deal will depend on the provision of more robust support for cities and regions. They urge the EU Commission to maintain its commitment regardless of leadership changes following the elections.

    Specifically, the Alliance calls for enhanced coordination in investment support from EU national, and regional funds, ensuring responsiveness to locally tailored and holistic action and investment plans. Such support is deemed essential for creating local jobs and markets for the European green industry. Recent challenges, such as delays in passing the Nature Restoration Law and challenges in phasing out internal combustion engines, are undermining the Green Deal’s objectives. As European elections approach, the EU must ensure it remains a global beacon for climate leadership.

    With the complexities of forthcoming climate legislation, local leaders stress the importance of the EU’s commitment to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, ensuring an equitable transition for all.

    Cities’ role in the green transition

    Cities and regions are where at least 70% of the European Green Deal legislation must be implemented. European local and regional governments have already begun transforming their communities, emphasising sustainable practices in various aspects of daily life. Today, the EU’s subnational governments mobilise around 58% of climate-significant public expenditures, surpassing their central governments.

    Cities and regions have proven their commitment to work with decision-makers at EU and national level to ensure a climate-neutral future for Europe. However, if the European Green Deal is truly to become a reality, the EU must empower local and regional governments with the funding, policies and cooperation mechanisms they need to ensure a just, resilient future for everyone,” said André Sobzcak, Secretary General of Eurocities.

    “European cities and regions have embraced the EU Green Deal and engaged their local communities in bringing about sustainable local change. We call on EU and national decision-makers to take the next step in providing clarity, financial support and meaningful cooperation mechanisms to help put policy into practice. In this EU election year, it is more urgent than ever to bring on board local governments as serious partners for shaping a sustainable, fair, democratic and just European future,” stated Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director, ICLEI Europe.

    Local leaders highlight that partnership between all levels of government is key as “Financing the local transition to climate neutrality will require mobilising the EU and national budgets.”

    Improving skills

    Cities and regions need adequate in-house skills and a workforce to successfully do their part for the climate neutrality transition and by doing so, to create demand for European businesses and industries.

    The Local Alliance reaffirms its dedication to collaborating with national governments, the European Council, the Commission, and the Parliament to translate the European Green Deal into tangible benefits for all citizens.

    The Local Alliance include the following organisations Eurocities, ICLEI, ACR+, CEMR, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, FEDARNE, and POLIS.

  2. Brussels Green Deal city logistics deadline for project submission extended to 22 September

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    Source: Mobilise

    Call for projects aimed at reducing logistics emissions across the Brussels-Capital Region remains open until the end of the working week

    As part of Brussels’ Green Deal on Zero Emission Urban Logistics, the call aims to support projects that lack support and cannot see the light of day due to lack of initial funding. It is designed to stimulate collaboration within the Green Deal, and is open to existing signatories, as well as those who wish to sign on at the same time.

    The purpose of the Urban Logistics Green Deal, which was launched in April of this year, is to bring together a community of pioneering organizations that want to move forward faster and further in the transition of logistics in Brussels. At the launch, figures were shared illustrating that, while accounting for only 17% of the kilometres travelled in Brussels, freight transport is responsible for 41% of NOx emissions, 30% of fine particle emissions and 29% of Brussels’ CO2 emissions from transport. Through this Green Deal, the Brussels-Capital Region wishes to support and promote the actions of companies that are pioneers in the transition to low-emission logistics.

    The aim of the call for projects is to:

    • stimulate the Brussels-Capital Region’s Urban Logistics Green Deal
    • support a minimum of 3 projects aimed at reducing logistics emissions
    • fund selected projects to the tune of €10,000 to €300,000 per project
    • support selected projects during the 2024 calendar year
    • support selected projects with the expertise of the Mobilise research group

    For detailed submission information, applicants can head to this page of the environnement.brussels website.

  3. LEVA-EU sends open letter to EU Commission, Council & EP Presidents

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    Gent, 12 May 2020

    Open Letter to:
    – the President of the European Commission, Mrs von der Leyen
    – the President of the European Council, Mr Michel
    – the President of the European Parliament, Mr Sassoli

    Dear Mrs von der Leyen, Mr Michel and Mr Sassoli,

    LEVA-EU is the European trade association for businesses in the light electric vehicle (LEV)-sector. The term  LEV covers all electric vehicles in and excluded from the L-category, i.e. e-scooters, e-bikes, speed pedelecs, electric mopeds and motorcycles, etc..

    LEVA-EU herewith officially requests the Presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament to eliminate legal bottlenecks and to put LEVs at the heart of Green Deal, with a view to encouraging sustainable mobility as we are coming out of the Corona crisis.

    Almost 300,000 lives have been lost to COVID-19. We all agree that each one of those deaths is one too many. And yet, every year, we allow for 4.2 million people to die from air pollution. There appears to be a worldwide consensus that this is a price worth paying to preserve our economies and living standards. It took COVID-19 to show how life can be without that pollution: not only cleaner and healthier (in a way) but also quieter, more safe, greener, brighter, … The share of transport in that turnaround can hardly be underestimated.

    At all levels, policymakers are now faced with the choice between going back to “business as usual” or a fundamental change. It is once again the cities that are the pioneers in encouraging their citizens and businesses to make that fundamental change. A growing peloton of European cities decides to safeguard and sometimes even further expand the freed up space to allow pedestrians, cyclists and users of light, electric vehicles (LEVs) such as e-bikes, electric cargo bikes, e-scooters, etc. to keep a safe distance.

    When we now read the Green Deal, published before the Corona-crisis, the chapter on transport sounds very much overtaken by reality. Why should we wait until 2030 to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% and until 2050 to achieve climate neutrality? In October 2019, the European Environment Agency (EEA) stated: “Cutting air pollution in Europe would prevent early deaths, improve productivity and curb climate change.” How can a decision to wait until 2050, thus killing millions more, be justified, especially since the Corona crisis has shown that we are able to cut air pollution.

    That is why LEVA-EU calls upon the European Commission, Parliament and Council to support the European cities and their citizens by taking two simple, concrete measures.

    First, before the Corona crisis, the EEA already stated: “Shifting to walking, cycling and public transport is crucial for Europe to meet long-term sustainability goals and policy objectives under the EU Green Deal.” The Corona crisis has shown that the willingness to travel in a sustainable way is far beyond political expectations. In the European Green Deal, the Commission expresses “its intention to tackle all transport emission sources and explains that achieving sustainable transport means providing users with more affordable, accessible, healthier and cleaner alternatives to their current mobility habits.

    Despite this statement, the Commission has not put forward shifting to walking, cycling, LEVs and public transport as a key element of the Green Deal. LEVA-EU calls upon the Commission and all European institutions to stop ignoring the invaluable EEA advice. We urge the Commission to include that shift as a key element in both the Green Deal Communication and in the announced strategy for sustainable and smart mobility.

    Second, the Commission has announced adaptations of existing legislation, i.e. the AFID and the TEN-T Regulation. We urge the Commission to add the revision of Regulation 168/2013 to this programme. A fast and fundamental revision of this Regulation on the type-approval for L-category vehicles is crucial to remove the many legal bottlenecks, which are currently severely obstructing the deployment of LEVs.

    Last February, at a symposium organized by LEVA-EU and the Belgian project 365SNEL, LEV-manufacturers presented the Commission with a large variety of legal and regulatory problems preventing them from fully exploiting the potential of LEVs. The 365SNEL project, funded by the Flemish Environmental Department, showed that after extensive test riding, 20% of the participants swapped their car for a speed pedelec for commuting.

    At the request of the Commission, the European Council and Parliament decided in 2013 to only exclude electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250 W from the L-category. So, most other light electric vehicles are included in technical legislation, which has originally been written for internal combustion engine mopeds and motorcycles.

    The legislation has 1,036 pages of text, to a large extent dedicated to emissions, noise and other technical aspects which are totally irrelevant for light electric vehicles. Manufacturers must figure out which of these 1,036 pages are applicable to, for instance, their speed pedelecs or their E-cargo bikes with more than 250W. And if they manage that all, they then have to go through a totally inaccurate type-approval procedure, which costs at least four times more than what the Commission predicted in their impact assessment before drafting Regulation 168/2013.

    The 365SNEL research has shown that the biggest obstacle to getting more people to consider LEVs is still high prices, yet this price is a direct result of extremely complicated, inaccurate European technical rules.

    Regulation 168/2013 is a significant barrier to European SMEs and choking growth at a key time when the popularity and profile of LEVs as a sustainable form of transport, especially in these COVID-19 times, is set to soar. Europe must not hold back innovation and growth in this sector.

    Categorizing LEVs as mopeds also presents considerable safety issues for riders. Most speed pedelecs for instance are unable to achieve their maximum speed limit of 45 km/h, but rather achieve a maximum cruising speed of 30-35 km/h. Yet, classing them as mopeds forces them off cycle lanes and onto roads among traffic achieving speeds of at least 50km/h. As a result, riders are forced to ride in dangerous conditions, because the speed difference between them and other means of transport is often life-threatening. This is yet another reason for a fundamental review of Regulation 168/2013.

    Last year, an estimated three million e-bikes were sold in the European Union. About 98 per cent of these were e-bikes with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W, which shows the extent to which the technical legislation for L-category obstructs the development of new types of E-bikes and other LEVs.

    The LEV market holds an exciting future for cities and towns across Europe, but this potential will be lost if we do not make urgent and fundamental alterations to current legislation. LEVA-EU has presented the Commission with a well-founded proposal for legislative change. We would be very pleased to further explain and discuss this proposal.

    Finally, LEVA-EU wishes to rephrase the EEA statement: “Shifting to walking, cycling, light, electric vehicles and public transport is a duty for Europe to meet long-term sustainability goals and policy objectives under the EU Green Deal, in honour of all COVID-19 and air pollution victims.”

    Yours Sincerely,

    Annick Roetynck,
    LEVA-EU Manager

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