Browse by topic: Briefing, Climate Change and Energy, Standards

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Briefing: ‘Trade for All’ – Balancing environmental protection and trade promotion

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EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström released her five-year ‘Trade for All’ strategy in October 2015, which acknowledges growing public concern over the EU’s trade policies. We identify five areas that need revision in order to more equitably distribute the benefits and costs of the EU’s trade policy: global value chains; energy imports; sustainable development; investment protection; transparency.

Europe’s lost decade of truck fuel economy

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Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDV), which include trucks and buses, increased by 36% between 1990 and 2010 and are estimated to continue growing in the foreseeable future. HDV emissions currently represent around 30% of all road transport CO2 emissions and unless additional measures are taken by 2030 HDV emissions will increase to over 40% of road transport CO2. By 2030 HDV would emit around 15% of emissions not covered by the EU ETS (non-ETS/ESD) – which EU member states will have to reduce by 30% by 2030. The main reason for the increase of HDV carbon emissions is the stagnation of truck fuel efficiency coupled with increasing demand for road freight.

COP21: Shipping and aviation emissions are the elephants in the room

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Aviation emissions are responsible for 5% of global warming and shipping makes up almost 3% of global CO2. These sectors have a CO2 impact equal to the UK and Germany and are continuing to grow rapidly – by up to 270% in 2050, by which time they could account for almost 40% of all emissions. Such emission growth will undermine reductions efforts by all countries and other sectors, effectively making the 1.5/2°C objective impossible to achieve.

NGO recommendations for upstream emissions reductions in the Fuel Quality Directive

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The recently adopted implementing rules for the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) include the possibility for fuel suppliers to use upstream emissions reductions (UERs) to reach the 6% decarbonisation target. This briefing contains T&E's recommendations for European Commission guidelines on UERs under the FQD. It outlines how the rules are vague and, without robust guidance by the European Commission and restrictions by member states, there is a risk of double counted and non-additional offset credits being used for compliance, seriously undermining the FQD’s effectiveness.

The VW scandal and what does it mean for TTIP?

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Unless you have buried your head in the sand over the last couple of days, you would have been hard pressed to miss the VW cheating scandal that has erupted in the United States. A tsunami of media stories have taken over the front pages of the FT, NYT, The Guardian, Le Figaro, Il Sole 24 Ore, to name a few.

Too big to ignore – truck CO2 emissions in 2030

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Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDV), which include trucks and buses, increased by 36% between 1990 and 2010 and continue to grow. HDV emissions currently represent around 30% of all road transport CO2 emissions and 5% of all EU CO2 emissions. This briefing by T&E analyses existing data and finds that unless additional measures are taken HDV emissions will increase to 40% of road transport emissions by 2030.

Briefing: Environmental Goods Agreement

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Launched in July 2014, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is being negotiated between the European Union – on behalf of its 28 member states – and 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The selection of goods for the EGA list was undertaken in secrecy and without a definition of an environmental good or selection criteria. T&E has identified around 120 items on the list of 650 goods for which we do not see any environmental justification for lowering tariffs. We argue that negotiations should open up and the assessment of what is an environmental good should be conducted by recognised experts in full transparency, on the basis of a widely accepted methodology.

Collusion to weaken fuel economy regulations

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The current system for testing car CO2 emissions and fuel economy, the NEDC, is obsolete. Thankfully, a new test, the WLTP, is scheduled to replace the NEDC in 2017. To do this, the average CO2 emissions target for cars (95 g/km for 2020/1) needs to be revised in a way that maintains “equivalent stringency” between the tests.

Explanatory note: Comparing US and EU truck fuel economy

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In June 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced phase II of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks, intended to reduce planet-warming carbon pollution. In the US tractor-trailers average between 33-36l/100km. The new proposal will bring that down to below 27l/100km by 2027. This explanatory note details how US trucks will overtake European lorries as the most efficient in the world.

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