This paper is a response from Transport & Environment to the ‘Consultation on structural options to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System’ (ETS) by the European Commission. The response focuses on the fourth (‘d’) of six options proposed – extension of the scope of the ETS to other sectors - with a special focus on extending the scope of the ETS to road transport. T&E strongly opposes this idea, as it will not deliver economic benefits and will seriously jeopardise emissions reductions in transport.
Ahead of this Friday’s Ministerial Council meeting, a new study of the Dutch biofuels market published today by CE Delft reveals that a shift to biofuels with low indirect land-use change (ILUC)  emissions can significantly improve the environmental performance of biofuels sold on the market.
Under the Dutch biofuels obligation, fuel suppliers are required to include a minimum share of biofuels in their overall sales of road transport fuels: 4.25% in 2011 and 5% in 2012. From 2011 onwards they have also had to submit an annual report detailing the biofuels they sell on the Dutch market. The data from these various sources are then compiled by the Dutch Emissions Authority (NEa), which publishes a selection of the results.
The clock may have been stopped for a year, but time is still passing. ‘Stopping the clock’ was a big gesture from the EU. With the world saying it was the EU’s decision to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that was preventing global action to tackle aircraft’s contribution to climate change, the EU said ‘OK, we’ll suspend our action for a year to create the chance for a global agreement.’ Yet so far, little progress has been made and the blame heaped on the EU’s ETS looks more and more like the empty excuse we always thought it was.
Airlines are making so-called ‘windfall profits’ of up to €1.3bn by charging passengers for permits to pollute which they are no longer obliged to hand over to European countries. That is the main conclusion of a study by the Dutch consultancy CE Delft carried out for T&E. T&E, in a statement, called for airlines not to retain these windfall profits - which would, they say, be a betrayal of passengers’ contributions to fight climate change. Instead, the campaign group called for any such profits to fund developing countries’ efforts to deal with the effects of climate change.
A report commissioned by four environmental organisations says Europe can effectively meet its current renewable energy target in transport without the need for harmful biofuels. With growing concerns that the current EU biofuel policy will increase greenhouse gas emissions, the report presents an alternative scenario that promotes the use of truly sustainable biofuels, maximises non-liquid sources of energy, and reduces overall energy consumption. T&E says the first step towards this clearly improved scenario must be to change current EU policy so it accounts for the full carbon footprint of biofuels.
A report commissioned by T&E and Greenpeace suggests the EU can more than halve its existing carbon dioxide emissions from new cars with existing technology. The report, by the British consultancy Ricardo-AEA, says the right mixture of electric, hybrid and conventionally-fuelled cars will enable Europe to reach a target of 60 grams per kilometre from the average new car in 2025.
In July 2012 the Commission published its proposal to review Regulation 443/2009 which sets CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars. The Environment Committee leads the deliberations in the European Parliament and Thomas Ulmer (EPP) has been appointed rapporteur. This briefing appraises proposals within his report and quantifies how these could lead to a weakening of the target in excess of 10g, raising the target to more than 105g/km.
In July 2012 the Commission published its proposal to review Regulation 510/2011 which sets CO2 emission targets for new light commercial vehicles (vans). The Environment Committee leads the deliberations in the European Parliament and Holger Krahmer (ALDE) has been appointed rapporteur. This briefing appraises proposals within his report and quantifies how these could lead to a weakening of the target in excess of 10g, raising the target to more than 157g/km.
The EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas has floated the idea of the EU legislating to oblige member states to provide more charging points for electric vehicles. The proposal came as part of a ‘Clean Power for Transport’ package launched last month that looks to encourage a greater take-up of alternative-fuel vehicles by the public. T&E said it was ‘a small but largely welcome step’ in the right direction.