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Online only: Europeans leading the way in green initiatives

THE German government has decided to extend the duty-free status of biodiesel two years longer than originally planned, until 2011, according to local media reports.

And the German oil industry group Mineraloelwirtschaftsverband (MWV) forecasts that annual road fuel consumption in the country will drop substantially over the next 19 years, from 53.1m tonnes last year to 14m tonnes in 2025.

Petrol consumption is forecast to drop 42% to 14m tonnes as more motorists switch to increasingly efficient diesel vehicles, while diesel demand is forecast to decline by 12%, to 26m tonnes. As a consequence, carbon dioxide emissions from road traffic are forecast by the MWV to fall by 30% over the 20-year period to 113 million tonnes a year, MWV predicted.

Meanwhile, the municipal authorities in Brussels have approved a deal whereby motorists will be offered a year’s free public transport or a bicycle purchase voucher in exchange for surrendering their car’s tax disc. Membership of a ‘Cambio’ car club is also included in the package. A car surrendered first registered before 1997 will attract an extra incentive value, from 1 October this year.

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