Last year was the one in which it became plain for everyone to see that transport had turned from being the grey sheep to the black sheep in Europe and the world’s efforts to improve the environment.
The Paris ‘Conference of the Parties’ 21, the most important climate conference since the failed Copenhagen one of six years ago, is nearing an outcome. The dramatic 13 November events in the city has surely added grit to France’s determination to succeed, and has forged some unusual alliances. There is some hope that the spirit of togetherness – not just against terrorism but also to tackle that other global threat which the COP is about – will help in forging a transformative deal.
Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.
The ‘Durban Platform’ may become as commonly known as the Kyoto Protocol, following a loose agreement at this month’s Durban climate change summit on a plan to work towards a global climate strategy. The plan is to agree the strategy by 2015 and for it to start in 2020.
Opinion By Jos Dings - T&E DirectorThis edition of the Bulletin is somewhat special. You will have seen it is the 200th, after exactly 20 years of operation. But it is also special because it is one of the few in which both aviation and shipping take centre stage. And because a divide between them is emerging. It is becoming increasingly clear that, while in the shipping sector the global community can actually take occasional steps forward, in aviation it is still the same old sad story of trying to stop progress from happening. Or even worse, trying to reverse it.
A group of environmental NGOs is urging the EU to make all possible effort to put bunker fuels back on the agenda of the next meeting of the United Nation
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Bangkok next April.
Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E Director
Did we miss something? Last year, the European Commission didn’t propose a single new legislative measure to clean up transport. To be fair, it has been spending most of its time worrying about the future of the Eurozone. As a result, for T&E this was the sort of year where seeds for smarter transport policy were sown. We’re optimistic that next year could bring a decent crop of positive changes.
A United Nations body set up after last year’s Copenhagen climate change summit has recommended increased taxes on carbon emissions and air and sea transport with the aim of raising $100 billion a year to help poorer nations fight global warming.