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Mitigating emissions from international aviation: the question of historical responsibility

One of the main arguments put forward by countries such as China, India and Brazil is that according to agreed principles under the UNFCCC 'developed' countries have the greater historical responsibility for their accumulative historical CO2 emissions. The list of top 20 historical aviation emitters, however, includes China, Singapore, the UAE and Brazil, suggesting that these countries also have a historical obligation to address aviation emissions. See below an array of data that set out the actual situation regarding historical responsibility for international aviation emissions.

Published on June 10, 2013 - 17:20

Having your cake and trying to eat it too - international aviation emissions and historical responsibility

Developing countries argue that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should start with developed countries because they have the greatest historical responsibility for generating CO2 emissions and thus causing the bulk of global warming. At the recent abortive round of deliberations of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) High Level Group, these arguments came to the fore again. During the discussions to find consensus around global action to address aviation’s contribution to climate change, China, India and Brazil revived old arguments that they have no responsibility to act, not even at differentiated levels, because of these historical issues enshrined in the global climate negotiations.

Published on June 10, 2013 - 10:02

Wastes, residues and co-products for biofuels and bioliquids

The Commission's proposal on biofuels, published in October 2012, introduced additional incentives for biofuels from wastes and residues. These biofuels can count four times towards the 10% target for renewables in transport. However, the proposed framework is not in conformity with waste legislation, nor adapted to the biofuel context. It also leaves residues and co-products undefined, instead opting just to include an incomplete list of raw materials in an annex without description or clarification. This briefing note, written by Tim Grabiel of Défense Terre, examines the treatment of waste, residues and co-products for biofuels and bioliquids within the Renewable Energy Directive and Fuel Quality Directive and suggests a different classification of these materials.

Published on June 6, 2013 - 14:56

Airlines' call for global emissions deal not convincing

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade body comprising 240 airlines worldwide, today finally acknowledged the need for a global market–based measure to reduce aviation's contribution to climate change. IATA called on their airline members to encourage their governments to agree at this year’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly on a global carbon offsetting measure to take effect in 2020.

Published on June 3, 2013 - 17:49

NGOs open letter to IATA demanding a global aviation emissions deal

A coalition of 11 environmental, development and science groups wrote to Tony Tyler, the head of international aviation trade body, IATA, calling for a global sectoral approach that covers the environmental cost of airlines' emissions. The letter was sent days before 240 airlines gathered in Cape Town, South Africa at IATA's Annual General Meeting to discuss the industry issues including the sector's contribution to climate change. The full letter is reproduced in the downloadable link below.

Published on June 3, 2013 - 14:49

Manipulation of fuel economy test results by carmakers: new evidence and solutions

A growing body of evidence shows the current test used to measure car fuel efficiency is outdated, unrepresentative of real-world driving and lax enough to allow carmakers to systematically manipulate official test results at the expense of consumers’ trust. European institutions are presently finalising a regulation to lower CO2 emissions from cars and vans in 2020. This has stimulated intense debate when and how a new official test should be introduced. This briefing informs this debate in the light of new evidence from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) that for the first time compares progress in official and real-world vehicle fuel efficiency on a brand-by-brand basis.

Published on May 28, 2013 - 09:34

Makers of gas-guzzling cars cheat emissions tests the most

Car manufacturers that sell the majority of gas-guzzlers in Europe manipulate fuel economy figures in tests much more than those makers that produce more fuel-efficient vehicles, a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reveals. The report adds new evidence to a series of recent studies that show the gap between official test results and the fuel consumption drivers experience on the road is rapidly increasing year-on-year.

Published on May 28, 2013 - 08:56

Who’s taking the lead on lead times?

‘Lead time’ is an expression most people do not often hear, but you hear it all the time when you work on European green laws. Lead time is the idea that, when you set a new environmental standard for an industry, that industry needs to be given time to adapt. This all sounds fair and good, but in reality claiming that lead times are too short, or even too long, is a very popular tool for industry lobbyists to get rid of or delay laws, and that in turn makes lead time a controversial issue.

Published on May 23, 2013 - 11:40