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Fight to reduce air travel's impact made harder at global aviation summit

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European plans to tackle air transport’s climate impact moved a step closer, but also risked being watered down, at this month’s general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The European Union appeared to signal that the terms of aviation’s entry into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) might be weakened, and the EU’s transport commissioner even talked about exempting incoming flights to Europe from the scheme. Yet these concessions allowed the EU to successfully fight off an American-led attempt to stop emissions trading in aviation from happening.

ICAO grounded, IMO adrift - EU must act!

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OpinionBy Bill Hemmings
- T&E Programme Manager A trip to the beautiful Canadian city of Montreal would normally be a pleasure, but few who attended this month’s general assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will remember their trip fondly. It’s tempting to thank one’s lucky stars that these assemblies only take place every three years, but the urgent need to combat aviation’s contribution to climate change makes that no blessing. The situation is as complicated as it is frustrating, but it’s important to take a step back from the wrangling in corridors and backrooms, and think clearly about what needs to be done, not just with aviation but also with its bedfellow, international shipping.

EU classifies tar sands a 'high greenhouse gas' source but makes concession to Canada

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Canada has achieved a partial victory over the EU on the issue of how the environmental impact of transport fuels derived from tar sands should be assessed. The Commission has agreed to delay by a year the greenhouse gas intensity value it gives to tar sands, but it has made clear it views the fuel as a ‘high greenhouse gas intensity’ source.

Transport Ministers approve air and noise pollution charges for lorries

Today, in Luxembourg, European Transport Ministers reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive). Nina Renshaw, deputy director at Transport & Environment (T&E), welcomed the agreement but also stressed that a number of issues remain.

Statement on the outcome of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly

The future inclusion of the aviation sector in Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) may have moved a step closer last week as a result of international talks. But the scheme’s effectiveness will be weaker as a result of European concessions at talks which also ended any hope of credible global measures to cut aviation’s climate impact in the foreseeable future according to Transport & Environment (T&E).

Developing countries scupper fuel-efficient ship plans

The first global agreement to cut carbon emissions from ships has been blocked by several developing countries. The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) had been set to approve an Energy Efficient Design Index (EEDI) for ships at its meeting last week in London, following four years of work. The standard, which would only apply to newly built ships, would have been the first globally agreed measure to reduce carbon emissions from international maritime transport.

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