The EHA last autumn supported a joint letter to the new EU Commission reflecting the concern of several European clean transport organisations on including transport in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). The  EU Environment Ministers on March 6, 2015  agreed on the key role of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) for achieving of the EU’s 2030 emission reduction target. Ministers also called for new initiatives for measures in the non-ETS sectors, such as transport and buildings. The EHA is engaging with its national member associations to identify the position of different Member State on this topic.

Another important dossier that the EHA is following saw the approval of an encouraging amendment in the Environment Committee of the EU Parliament on February 26 in the Second reading on recommendations on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources: the approved amendment 96 included a proposal to amend Council position Annex II – point 3, Directive 2009/28/EC, Annex IX:  “Part Aa. Feedstocks and fuels, the contribution of which towards the target referred to in the first subparagraph of Article 3(4) shall be considered to be four times their energy content, and which contribute towards the target referred to in point (e) of the second subparagraph of Article 3(4): ….(b) Renewable liquid and gaseous fuels of non-biological origin. (page 73). This would, according to the position of the German performing energy initiative, led by EHA board member Werner Siwald, provide a business case for Power to (Hydrogen) Gas scenario’s. Mr Torvalds received a mandate (46 votes in favour, 20 against and 2 abstentions) to start negotiations with the Latvian Presidency of the Council of Ministers for a possible second reading agreement.

Last but not least the EHA attended the  last meeting of DG MOVE’s Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels on March 9  discussed the lat verion report on the State of the art on alternative fuels transport systems compiled by COWI: this will be the third report coming out of this group. The final version is expected by April 15, 2015 The EHA has been attending the meetings of this group since its inception in 2010. At the meeting a reference wa made to the European Fund for Strategic Investment, also referred to a the Juncker Plan; 2000 projects for a total of € 1.300 bln of of which 29% for Transport projects have been identified, € 127 bln of which was identified for projects on TEN T corridors.  While TEN T will remian part of the Connecting Europe Facility the Juncker plan will include possibilities for financing on motorways and logistic platforms as well as infrastructure related policies like traffic management systems, retrofitting fleets and on rolling out infrastructure for clean fuels and  developing models for the implementation new urban mobility solutions like FC and H2. Last January the Commission launched a Financial Instruments compass platform for advisory services on financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and microfinance under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This platform will complement the European Investment Advisory Service,  this advisory hub should provide guidance on delivering quality projects and investments, using EU funds more efficiently, in particular through reinforced use of financial instruments, and improving access to finance.

(Photo: Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union and Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy at the pre conference on the publication of the Energy Union Communication on February 25, 2015)