The world’s first study into the impact of climate change on turbulence says flights will become less smooth, which may in turn lead to increased fuel consumption and more climate-changing emissions. The study says the increase in greenhouse gases will create changes to jet streams that will lead to more ‘clear air turbulence’.
Three quarters of goods in the EU are carried by road. Whilst only 3 percent of vehicles, lorries account for 25 percent of road transport CO2 emissions in Europe. Over the past 20 years the fuel efficiency of lorries has hardly improved1 and lorries are also involved in a disproportionate number (18%) of fatal accidents. One reason for this poor track record is the very blunt, hence unsafe and unstreamlined, front end of Europe’s lorries. This briefing illustrates the urgent need for smarter design and the benefits of such a change.
In 2009, the EU set legally binding targets for new cars to emit on average 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. The way the 2020 target will be met is presently being considered by the European Parliament and Council following a Commission proposal in 2012. The Commission proposed to reintroduce a system of “supercredits". Supercredits, which proponents say will encourage supply of ultra-low carbon vehicles, also allow carmakers to supply less fuel-efficient conventional cars, weakening the emission target. This paper outlines the potential effects of different proposals for supercredits on the 95g target to help inform policymakers. It is based upon the results of an independent analysis of the options by Ricardo-AEA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During the last week of April, the ENVI Committee will vote on regulation that will determine how efficient European cars will be from 2020.