The refusal by MEPs to refer the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to the European Court of Justice in a vote today is an abdication of their responsibility, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The European Parliament has the power to request an opinion by the Luxembourg court on the compatibility of trade agreements with the EU treaties. But the resolution to refer the Canada-Europe trade deal, over concerns about the creation of a new ‘Investment Court System’, was defeated by 419 votes to 258.
Claims that CETA is a ‘gold standard’ of trade deals for the betterment of people and the planet are undermined by a toothless environment chapter that cannot be properly enforced and a tribunal system which will prioritise corporate interests, according to a new analysis by green group Transport & Environment (T&E) and legal NGO ClientEarth. The Canada-EU deal’s environment chapter does nothing to encourage climate mitigation measures, such as transitioning to renewable energy, as called for in the Paris climate agreement which was signed by both Canada and EU. On Wednesday, 23 November, MEPs will vote on whether to refer the agreement to the European of Justice.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union is presented as one of the most progressive trade agreements ever negotiated. This analysis conducted by legal NGO ClientEarth and T&E looks into a number of key areas in CETA with likely implications for environmental protection.
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.
What to do with biofuels? This simple question has given many European policymakers huge headaches for a decade now. Two subsequent, dragged-out legal processes to first promote them (2006-2009), and then to contain food-based ones (2012-2015) left no-one happy. NGOs warned that the problems were still not solved, while industry maintained that all investment security was gone.
In April 2015, Norway reached its goal of bringing 50,000 electric cars onto the streets – three years earlier than planned thanks to a generous scheme of incentives. Today more than 120,000 electric vehicles are driving on Norwegian roads. However, not every incentive works out as it should, so what the European Union can learn from the Scandinavian state?
When oil prices were rising fast, some 10 years ago, the idea of ‘peak oil’ re-emerged – the (false) idea that the world’s oil supplies were about to run out. Several recent publications now hint at an entirely different kind of ‘peak oil’ – one caused by shortfall in demand, not supply.
The pressure on Europe to take action on shipping’s climate emissions is building after the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) decided last month to delay by at least a further seven years any decision on a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from ships. Leading members of the European Parliament called the delay an abject failure by national governments and the shipping industry.