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Electric cars slow to catch on

An analysis of market forecasts for low-carbon cars suggests the take-up of electric vehicles will have a very slow take-up over the next decade. The analysis, Powering Ahead by the Ricardo-AEA consultancy, says the total number of plug-in hybrid and pure battery-powered cars being sold each year in the UK by 2020 will not exceed 200 000 and may even be as low as 40 000.

Keeping EU biofuels policy alive costs society €10bn a year, study shows

CORRECTION NOTE: On 23 August 2013, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), author of the study, corrected the estimates of the public support the EU biofuels industry received in 2011. The revised overall estimate for EU biofuels subsidies is now €5.5-6.9 (average 6.2) billion per year, and not €9.3-10.7 (average 10) billion per year, as originally published in April 2013. According to IISD, the revision is due to a calculation error on the volume of biofuels eligible for tax exemptions in certain countries. All other estimates remain the same, including those for the cost of consumption mandates which make up the largest type of public support. "The conclusions and recommendations presented in the original report also remain unchanged", IISD stated in its Addendum.

Submitted by Tom Sims on Press release

Uneven returns? The economics of EU biofuels policy

Europe is reforming its biofuels policy due to concerns raised about its impact on global land use change patterns and global food markets. The negative environmental impacts of the biofuels policy have been well demonstrated, but what is less clear are the economic implications. T&E, the EEB, BirdLife Europe and IISD have therefore funded this report to evaluate the costs and the benefits of the EU’s biofuels policy and its implications for the EU governments and citizens, who are currently facing economic hardship.

European Parliament increases pressure on ICAO to agree a global aviation emissions deal

The European Parliament today voted to confirm the Commission’s proposal to suspend for one year the inclusion of flights to and from Europe in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Parliament’s decision stressed that the EU’s emissions clock will start again if the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) does not manage to agree on a global deal to curb international aviation emissions at its triennial Assembly next September.

Fact or Fiction? Car & CO2 Emissions Regulation

Proposals to lower CO2 emissions are currently being considered by the Environment Committee of the European Parlaiment. The amount of CO2 cars emit is directly related to the amount of fuel the vehicle consumes – lower carbon vehicles therefore use less fuel and are cheaper to run. This briefing outlines why 95g in the regulation should mean cars on average achieve 95g on the road and why flexibilities are unnecessary and counterproductive.

New face of lorries to save lives and curb emissions

Proposed changes to EU law, announced today, will make European lorries safer, cleaner and more fuel efficient. Transport & Environment and the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) welcome the European Commission’s proposal on the weights and dimensions of lorries as a vital turning point for road safety and a small but welcome step towards cutting emissions from road transport.

Submitted by Tom Sims on Press release

Monitoring of bunker fuel consumption

Monitoring of fuel consumption and GHG emissions from international shipping is currently under discussion at the EU level as well as at the IMO. There are several approaches to monitoring, each with different characteristics. Important differences exist with regards to the costs of the equipment, operational costs, the accuracy of the measurements, and the potential to monitor emissions of gases other than CO2. Moreover, some approaches offer more opportunities to improve the operational fuel-efficiency of ships and fit better to possible future policies than others.The following report discusses these approaches.

The 95 grams fleet - TODAY

Cars are responsible for an eighth of Europe’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The amount of CO2 produced is directly related to the amount of fuel the vehicle consumes – lower carbon vehicles are therefore more fuel efficient and cheaper to run. In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km by 2020. Companies providing technology solutions to car-makers confirm 95g can be met through conventional technology without the need to shift to electric or hydrogen powered vehicles.

NGO presentation to ICAO's High Level Group on Climate Change

The High Level Group (HGCC) established by ICAO last November to resolve political questions preventing agreement on a global Market-Based-Measure met for the third time in March. It was an important meeting as the first two were quite underwhelming and in some aspects went backwards. Time is running out for ICAO to have any chance of reaching substantive agreement at its forthcoming triennial Assembly next September.ICSA – the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation – representing environmental NGOs in the ICAO process, submitted a paper to HGCC3 and made a presentation to the group yesterday setting out the emissions gap between ICAO current plans and what is needed to meet the 2 degrees maximum global warming and urging agreement on a global MBM and an MBM Framework this year. Presentation and position paper attached.