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Cost of environmental rules for oil refining ‘matched by their benefits’

EU environmental laws on petroleum refining have delivered on their objectives and their costs are in proportion to the societal benefits achieved, a European Commission study has found. The legislation, which includes rules on the sulphur content of fuels and pollution limits from refinery operations, contained 'no regulatory gaps, overlaps, inconsistencies or obsolete measures leading to excessive administrative burdens'.

VW’s recklessness has hardened the resolve of regulators

In a year when the auto-industry was rocked by the #dieselgate scandal we also learned Volkswagen distorted tests for fuel economy and CO2 emissions as well. It was not surprising; contrary to industry claims of progress on efficiency there had been no real-world progress for a third successive year.

America’s can-do spirit eclipses Europe on cleaning up trucks

In between sending off the last e-mails, cleaning my desk and trying to recover from the T&E Christmas party, I was asked what I’ll remember from 2015. Lots of things obviously but professionally there’s only one thing that really stands out: the new US truck fuel efficiency regulation.

Citizens gave the high-carbon oil sector its toughest year

Who could have imagined that over the last year the oil industry would be facing so many radical changes and high-carbon tar sands would be having such a tough time? The year 2015 told us that these kinds of positive changes can happen rapidly when economics, citizen mobilisation and political leadership converge in the same direction.

Shipping sector in a state of confusion

Over the course of the year the extent of the shipping industry’s confusion – some would say delusion – on how to clean up its emissions became clear. Sitting in meeting rooms in London and Paris, we heard officials from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and industry profess their opposition to regional measures to reduce CO2 and then fail to address the problem at the global forum, the Paris climate conference.

‘Ambitious countries must push for aviation and shipping in climate deal’

Countries calling for an ambitious agreement at the Paris climate summit must insist that language on aviation and shipping emissions be reinserted or the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C, will be fatally undermined, green groups have warned. The latest draft deal, issued days before talks are due to end, dropped any mention of the two international transport sectors, which fall outside national reduction targets and therefore require an explicit reference in the agreement.

Herding elephants in Paris

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.

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