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COP21: Shipping and aviation emissions are the elephants in the room

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Aviation emissions are responsible for 5% of global warming and shipping makes up almost 3% of global CO2. These sectors have a CO2 impact equal to the UK and Germany and are continuing to grow rapidly – by up to 270% in 2050, by which time they could account for almost 40% of all emissions. Such emission growth will undermine reductions efforts by all countries and other sectors, effectively making the 1.5/2°C objective impossible to achieve.

Transatlantic airlines’ poor fuel-economy shows need for efficiency standards and carbon pricing

Some of the world’s largest airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa and United Airlines, are among the least fuel-efficient carriers on transatlantic routes, according to a new study. The failure of highly profitable carriers to invest in more fuel-efficient planes on one of the most lucrative routes in the world is a clear sign that efficiency standards and carbon pricing are needed, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment said.

Europe gifting €2,600 subsidy for every diesel car through low diesel tax – study

Europeans pay 14 cent more on average in tax for a litre of petrol than for diesel – indirectly subsidising diesel cars to the order of €2,600 per vehicle, a new study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) finds. This 30% tax gap in favour of diesel is a key reason for diesel cars’ majority share of new sales in Europe and leads to air quality problems where nine out of 10 diesel cars fail to meet NOx limits when driven on the road. [1]

Europe's tax deals for diesel

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The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.

€42.5m Irish airport state-aid a ‘waste of scarce public money’

EU approval of Ireland’s €42.5 million in state aid to small regional airports has been criticised for allowing public money to prop up underutilised infrastructure with questionable social and economic benefits. Four airports will receive the grants over the next four years – while the Irish government faces calls to address ‘chronic’ underinvestment in low-carbon public transport.

New plane fuel efficiency gains are more than a decade late for UN goal – study

Since 2010 the average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by 1.1% per year, which suggests that aircraft manufacturers may miss UN aviation body ICAO’s 2020 fuel efficiency goals by 12 years, a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reveals.

Opening for EU-US cooperation on effective aviation CO2 standard

The EU is facing calls to work with the US government to ensure global standards being developed to regulate aviation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are effective – after the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) finding last month that emissions from aircraft endanger human health.

Pope and medics issue powerful climate change warnings

Pope Francis has made a powerful contribution to the build-up to December’s crucial climate change conference in Paris, by publishing a papal encyclical calling for people to change their lifestyles in an effort to combat global warming. It comes at the same time as a finding from health experts that climate change is such a threat to human health that tackling it would be a ‘no regret’ option.

‘EU should work with US on aircraft emissions after EPA ruling’

The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has announced today that emissions from aircraft endanger human health, after being forced to issue a ruling due to a lawsuit filed by a number of US environmental groups. The EPA already found that greenhouse gases (GHGs) from cars and power plants were harmful to public health because of their climate impact.