European heads of state have agreed that in 2030, 27% of Europe’s energy should come from renewable sources. Not all renewables are sustainable though; for instance, food-based biofuels as well as burning whole trees imported from the US in EU power plants has come in for a lot of criticism.
Aviation is responsible for an estimated 5% of climate change, however the Paris Agreement left it unclear who is responsible for regulating the sector’s emissions. At the conclusion of COP21, the UN’s aviation agency, ICAO, and the aviation sector itself committed to substantial climate action in 2016. Now is the time to evaluate whether they followed through on that commitment. The two measures adopted in 2016 – a CO2 standard for new aircraft and a global market based measure to stabilise emissions at 2020 levels fall far short of what the Paris Agreement requires. Neither will have a meaningful impact on aviation emissions. Much more is needed – both greater ambition at ICAO, but also developed countries must go first and take serious action to reduce emissions from the aviation sectors which dwarf emissions from developing countries.
In July, the European Commission presented a proposal to achieve the 2030 climate target for transport, buildings, agriculture and waste. The Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) proposal formally requires a 30% cut compared to 2005 and distributes the efforts amongst member states. However, it has several shortcomings, including an allowance to use ETS and LULUCF credits. Moreover, the way the ESR’s starting point has been set, will create a surplus of emission allowances which can be carried over towards the second part of the period. This paper analyses the impact of the proposed starting point in combination with unlimited banking.
Questions to Mr Jos Dings, Executive Director forEMIS hearing on 4 July 2016
This summer, the European Commission will present a new legislative proposal on the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) for the post-2020 period. Around 60% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the non-ETS sectors, such as surface transport, agriculture, waste and buildings.
After a decade of promoting biofuels, Europe is in the midst of reforming its policy. Below you can download three different graphs (in pdf): the political positions of the three European institutions in early 2015; what they mean in terms of emissions and a detailed timeline of events since the first policy was introduced in 2003.
Did you know that every car in Europe uses a blend of biofuels? This is because of EU law. And to meet this demand, global production of biofuels has skyrocketed. You may think ‘bio’ means biofuels are always good for the planet. But because biofuels are derived from plant products, any increase in their use has a direct impact on agriculture worldwide. That means more deforestation to make way for new agricultural land, releasing the stored-up carbon of rainforests into the air and driving up global food prices. Co-produced by T&E, BirdLife Europe, and the European Environmental Bureau, The Little Book of Biofuels explains this Butterfly Effect of Europe’s biofuels policy and how we can end it.
The EU and the US are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free-trade agreement, which would be the world’s largest. Recently the pressure on the EU to weaken the Fuel Quality Directive has increased notably and oil companies and refiners have found in/with TTIP a new lobby vehicle to attack the FQD. Find out more in this briefing.
The European Parliament's Environment Committee votes on 19 March 2014 on the flawed agreement on aviation in the Emissions Trading System. Transport & Environment believes this deal should be REJECTED and urges all Members of the European Parliament to vote NO to it in order to secure a better deal.