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Europe’s 2013 climate action: glass empty or almost half full?

2013 will – again – not go down in the history books as the year that Europe really got serious about tackling transport’s many environmental issues. On the headline level we actually see quite the contrary: the political focus is more on saving existing jobs than creating new ones, and the ‘climate and energy’ discussion is skewed more towards energy than climate than ever before.Geopolitically, Europe is moving towards North America and wants to conclude far-reaching free trade agreements with Canada and the US. There may be many good reasons for this, but we can only hope that a desire to emulate the North American model – relying on cheap and dirty fossil energy – is not one of them.

IMO succumbs to pressure to delay ship NOx regulations

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today abandoned the fixed start date for new NOx emissions control areas (NECAs), which require an 80% cut in NOx from new ships sailing in specially designated zones. Instead, the IMO will replace the 2016 application date with flexible provisions for any NECAs established after that date. Transport & Environment (T&E) deplores this rushed-through decision, as it will negatively impact on the environment and the health of Europeans.

Europe caves in to foreign pressure, guts aviation emissions-reduction law

Members of the European Parliament today capitulated to pressure, bullying and threats from third countries, the aviation industry and EU leaders lacking vision and courage by voting to shrink the aviation emissions trading system (ETS). The weakened ETS will only cover flights between EU airports until 2017, which leaves long-haul flights totally unregulated and thus reduces the amount of CO2 emissions covered by three quarters, compared with the original full aviation ETS agreed in 2008.

Annual Report 2013

Transport & Environment's annual report for 2013 details the organisation's policies, campaigns and finances over a 12-month period. It explores T&E's work on vehicles, aviation, noise, biofuels, shipping, lorries, trade, tar sands, air pollution and transport spending. One section, T&E by the Numbers, presents the metrics behind T&E's campaigns and communications work.

MEPs to vote on EU’s right to regulate aviation emissions

MEPs will vote this week on whether Europe should exercise its sovereign right to regulate aviation emissions in the EU’s own airspace. In a full plenary vote on 3 April, parliamentarians will consider the leading environment committee’s decision to support ‘airspace’ scope for the aviation emissions trading system (ETS), which overturned the recommendation from the trilogue to restrict coverage to intra-EU flights only.

Growing evidence of health threats from tar sands exploitation

As the delay on the proposal to implement the Fuel Quality Directive reaches 1,186 days, there is growing evidence that tar sands mining and drilling operations, pipelines, and refineries are exposing local communities to serious health risks and problems.

Crucial decision on ‘technically feasible’ ships NOx reduction

Curtailing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from ships is ‘technically feasible’, according to a new study published ahead of this week’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting that will decide on a proposal to postpone the 2016 introduction of NOx emission control areas at sea.

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