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10 things that went well for sustainable transport in 2013

Yes, this editorial has an unlikely title. If you have been following us, or the issues we work on, a little bit, the overwhelming impression is that things have been scaled back (emissions-trading aviation), postponed (the Fuel Quality Directive, possibly NOx from ship engines, truck CO2 emissions) and watered down (CO2 from cars, biofuels).

‘Peak oil’ is dead – but the need for urgency is greater than ever

Opinion By Jos Dings - T&E DirectorThe most recent World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency caught more headlines than usual, the main reason being its finding that North America is to become self-sufficient in energy in 20 years due to an expected increase in production of unconventional oil and gas, as well as energy conservation – mainly more efficient cars. This has some serious consequences, also for Europe, and it heightens the responsibility of the world’s politicians to take some meaningful action on climate change, and quickly.

Cheaper car travel not helping environment, says EEA

The economic downturn of the last three years has contributed to some improvements in the impact of Europe’s transport on the environment, but while car transport has remained steady, train travel has decreased, largely because the cost is rising more quickly than the cost of driving.

This is the moment of truth for Icao

Editorial by Jos Dings, T&E Director
If you listen carefully through the cacophony surrounding the inclusion of aviation in Europe’s Emissions Trading System, there is progress. Important progress.The verdict of the European Court of Justice cleared the legal hurdle, which even more clearly exposes this fight for what it really is: a political power struggle between the most important economic blocs on the planet.

A brave new but uncertain era for aviation and environment

The world’s first transnational scheme that forces airlines to pay for the costs of their carbon emissions came into effect on 1 January. Following a historic ruling by the European Court of Justice on 21 December that declared emissions trading for airlines using EU airspace legal, airlines can now only use EU airports if they have the necessary emissions permits to do so. Yet the battle continues, with various non-EU countries threatening other forms of retaliation, and the EU standing firm, saying it will only make concessions if there is a global measure.

Ministers call for 'scrapping schemes' to be coordinated; T&E wants them scrapped

Sketch of some documents (default image for news

EU economics ministers have asked the Commission to coordinate ‘vehicle scrapping schemes’ – taxpayer-funded payments to people who replace an old car with a new one. The schemes are being touted as environment-friendly, but T&E disputes this.