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World still not taking climate change seriously, say three reports

Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are hitting new highs, and global action to tackle such concentrations is falling well short of what is needed to prevent dangerous climate change, according to two new reports. A third report says tackling climate change is a key to ending poverty. T&E says the findings should strengthen the Commission and MEPs when they face pressure to weaken EU legislation such as the fuel quality directive and emissions trading for aviation.

Arctic meltdown

A record number of ships have used the Northern Sea Route, highlighting and worsening the effects of Arctic melting. The number of ships using the Arctic shortcut between Europe and Asia has increased 10 times in the past two years, and this year 46 ships carrying a record 1.26 million tonnes of cargo – about half of it petroleum products – used the route for more months than it has ever been passable.

Stricter van fuel economy standards – abridged version

Fuel is an important and rising business cost. At the same time vans are one of the fastest growing sources of transport CO2 emissions, increasing by 26% between 1995 and 2010 and now accounting for 8% of EU’s total road transport emissions. To reduce van fuel consumption and counter rising emissions, binding CO2 standards were introduced in 2011, setting a 2017 fleetwide target of 175 CO2 g/km. For 2020 a target of 147 g/km was agreed. In its review proposal, which is currently under discussion in the European Parliament, the Commission confirmed the 147 g/km target.

Ultralow carbon vehicles and supercredits

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In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020.1 The Commission recently proposed a review of the way the 2020 target should be met.2 This confirmed the 95g/km value but reintroduced supercredits (additional rewards for sales of ultralow carbon vehicles) that weaken the target. This paper outlines why and how the market for ultralow carbon cars should be supported without reducing the wider benefits of improving the efficiency of conventional cars.

NGOs cautiously welcome ICAO's decision to speed up work on a global measure to reduce aviation emissions

Today’s 197th Council meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has drawn a number of relevant conclusions over so-called ‘market based measures’ (MBMs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation.

Commission bends to car industry pressure

EC plan for a 2020 competitive car and lorry industry omits key environmental promises.The Commission’s Cars 2020 Action Plan (1) for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe announced today fails to address key strategic challenges such as climate change. Sustainable transport campaigners, Transport & Environment (T&E), have identified important omissions from the plans. This follows earlier announcements this week that other key policies to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles are being shelved.

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