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Briefing: Environmental Goods Agreement

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

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.

European Parliament urges EU governments to include aviation and shipping in a strong Paris climate deal

The heads of 7 of the 8 political groups of the European Parliament's environment committee wrote today to the Environment Ministers of the 28 EU countries urging them to include international shipping and aviation in a global climate deal at Paris.

How to regulate better in transport... in four ‘easy’ steps

Better regulation. Who would not want to win this most elusive of prizes for the art of governing? As far back as 2002 (at least, that’s as far as our memory goes back) the Commission has been saying it does. You can argue over whether it has been sincere. At least this Commission has been honest; Juncker himself settled the debate by declaring it’s about less regulation. How naive we were to think it was about quality not quantity.

Truck fuel-economy standards needed, says German environment agency

Germany’s federal environment agency, UBA, has backed calls for truck fuel efficiency standards, saying ‘a much more intensive discussion about CO2 standards for heavy goods vehicles’ and ‘ambitious regulation’ are required. Citing ever-greater volumes of goods being transported by road and the trend towards more powerful and heavier vehicles, the agency said the transport sector must step up its efforts on climate action.

€42.5m Irish airport state-aid a ‘waste of scarce public money’

EU approval of Ireland’s €42.5 million in state aid to small regional airports has been criticised for allowing public money to prop up underutilised infrastructure with questionable social and economic benefits. Four airports will receive the grants over the next four years – while the Irish government faces calls to address ‘chronic’ underinvestment in low-carbon public transport.

New plane fuel efficiency gains are more than a decade late for UN goal – study

Since 2010 the average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by 1.1% per year, which suggests that aircraft manufacturers may miss UN aviation body ICAO’s 2020 fuel efficiency goals by 12 years, a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reveals.

Aviation industry 12 years off 2020 fuel efficiency target

Promised fuel efficiency gains by the aviation industry are far off-track and will meet the UN aviation body ICAO’s goal of improving 2% a year by 2020 some 12 years late. The average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by just 1.1% a year since 2010, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT).

France gifting €1bn a year in aviation subsidies – study

The French government, which hosts this year’s critical COP21 climate change conference, is losing around €1 billion a year in revenue because it exempts domestic air transport from energy and carbon taxation. The figure comes from a study on foregone tax revenues from aviation commissioned by T&E member Climate Action Network France (RAC-France).

Transport consuming most energy in developed world

Transport is the greatest consumer of energy in the developed world, consuming more than industry, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found for the second consecutive year. In the EU, transport still lags behind industry in total final energy consumption, but the gap is narrowing, and road transport’s continued reliance on oil is making the sector increasingly slow to embrace lower-emission energy.

Biodiesel consumption increased in 2014

New figures show the amount of biofuels being used for transport in the EU rose by 6.1% in 2014, but the increase is less than the fall in transport biofuels registered in 2013. The rise suggests trends are going in the wrong direction as biodiesel takes up the most important part of the increase, though the figures should be treated with caution because there is limited information on the type of feedstocks used to produce these biofuels.