[82] Separateness is the Fall

The need for harmonised global efficiency standards has never been greater, but recent events suggest harmonisation is a distant goal.

For example, new EU standards are being proposed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles.

However, at the same time in the US, President Trump is proposing to weaken the fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks set by his predecessor. The new proposal from the US Transportation Department and the EPA would freeze fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, and require dramatically fewer electric vehicles as more people continue to drive gasoline-powered vehicles.

[1] Europeans increasingly care about the environment

Flash Eurobarometer 256 concluded that Europeans overwhelmingly consider the environmental performance of the products they buy. Consumers want ecolabels they can trust and support differential taxation based on environmental performance.

DG Environment has issued another Flash Eurobarometer 367 on the single market for green products in July 2013. This EB focussed more on price and choice architecture for consumers and confirms consumer interest in environmental performance as well as the importance of transparent labels.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is expanding its successful sustainable product policy into the broader theme of circular economy.