The EU’s policy of using biodiesel for transport is set to increase Europe’s overall transport emissions by almost 4% instead of cutting CO2 emissions, according to a new analysis of the European Commission’s latest study on biofuels. These extra emissions are equivalent to putting around 12 million additional cars on Europe’s roads in 2020, the analysis by T&E finds. These findings take into account the EU’s 7% cap on the contribution of biofuels produced from food crops.
There is broad support among EU environment ministers for new CO2 standards for trucks and strengthened CO2 standards for cars. A large number of those attending an informal council of transport and environment ministers in Amsterdam last month said the measures would be required to ensure the necessary transition towards a low and zero emission transport sector in 2050 in order to combat climate change, air pollution and ‘green’ Europe’s economy.
The appalling scale of carmakers’ gaming and cheating of emissions tests became more apparent in April as their credibility collapsed like a house of cards. The steady drip-drip with which the public became increasingly aware of the magnitude and pervasiveness of carmakers’ wrongdoing started on 20 April when Mitsubishi’s top executives admitted it had cheated CO2 tests on 625,000 minicars in Japan. Mitsubishi’s president acknowledged the misconduct with a deep bow of apology and later admitted the carmaker had cheated fuel tests for 25 years.
Governments last month failed even to agree on developing a work plan to determine shipping’s ‘fair share’ contribution to meeting the goals of the Paris deal. Despite there being a clear majority in support of the move, a minority led by China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and the Cook Islands blocked a consensus to move forward. The issue was put back on the agenda of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) environment committee for when it next meets in October.
Diesel trains and barges will not need to have exhaust treatment systems even though they are required for cars and trucks, EU governments and MEPs agreed last month. The new law means citizens living along rail-lines and close to rail stations must continue to breathe cancer-causing diesel fumes, T&E warned.
A leading economist is warning that if the world does not take the action required by the Paris climate agreement, it will have to make a dangerously sudden adjustment 10-15 years from now which will have massive costs.
A consortium of car makers, oil companies and biofuels producers (the Auto Fuel Coalition) have wrongly claimed existing policies are almost sufficient to tackle transport emissions. The coalition report produced by German consultancy Roland Berger examined the measures needed to achieve CO2 reductions in the transport sector by 2030. In this briefing T&E outlines how that study makes a number of grossly incorrect assumptions that lead to hugely exaggerated estimates of the effectiveness of current rules.
The EU’s failure to push for a ban on the use by ships of heavy fuel oil (HFO), a toxic pollutant, when operating in the Arctic is a major cause of concern, a group of eight environmental NGOs has said. However, they welcomed the European Commission’s focus on climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and on protecting the environment in its new Arctic strategy.
Today’s claim by Shell and carmakers that current climate policies virtually complete the job of tackling transport emissions is wishful thinking, an analysis by green transport group Transport & Environment shows. The Auto Fuel Coalition of carmakers, oil companies and biofuels producers published a 2030 CO2 estimate of the effect of existing climate policies that is 20% below the European Commission’s own reference scenario.
The Effort Sharing Decision covers close to 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. It is the EU’s carbon budget for the transport, building and agriculture sectors, among other smaller sectors. It is critical that the 2030 ESD delivers real-world GHG reductions of at least 30%. However, it is equally important to transform the current ESD into an instrument that is “Paris proof”. The review of the 2030 ESD provides a unique opportunity to lay the foundation of a climate governance regime that is robust enough to accommodate the increased ambition the Paris agreement requires. This briefing discusses five new ideas to improve ESD governance.