ICAO’s CAEP (environment) committee meets in Montreal this week to decide on a global CO2 (fuel efficiency) standard for new aircraft. The standard has been 6 years in the making and is intended to require aircraft manufacturers to produce new aircraft after an agreed date in the 2020s with a design fuel efficiency better than that which would have happened without the standard. These design fuel efficiency improvements would generate real “in sector” emissions reductions as opposed to ICAO’s plan to use offsets in its global MBM under development which would see aviation emissions unaffected and the “heavy-lifting” done by other sectors of the global economy.
The Paris climate agreement’s target of limiting global warming well below 2°C will be impossible without measures to curb shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions, MEPs told industry representatives last week. Including shipping CO2 in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) or having the sector contribute to a climate compensation fund were the options on the table, they said.
EU environmental laws on petroleum refining have delivered on their objectives and their costs are in proportion to the societal benefits achieved, a European Commission study has found. The legislation, which includes rules on the sulphur content of fuels and pollution limits from refinery operations, contained 'no regulatory gaps, overlaps, inconsistencies or obsolete measures leading to excessive administrative burdens'.
"The EU must not allow our current specialism in diesel to lock-in the EU to this solution” Greg Archer said at the kick-off meeting of GEAR 2030 that took place on 26 March. GEAR 2030 is a high-level group set up by the Commission to foster the competitiveness of the European car industry. The Commission has proposed three working groups: one on the future of supply chains, one on connected vehicles and one on trade. "What’s missing? A working group on electric cars", Greg concluded.
Aviation is responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming and its emissions are growing at 4-5% each year. Unless action is taken, the sector risks undermining the Paris Agreement's objective of limiting a temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. There are a number of measures that could be introduced at international and EU level which would reduce the climate impact of the sector, and these need to be pursued urgently by policy makers.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is set to agree in 2016 on the first ever CO2 efficiency standard for new aircraft. With aviation responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming, and the sector’s emissions growing at 4-5% each year, an effective standard which delivers emission reductions beyond business-as-usual is essential if the objectives of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved. Environmental NGOs fear, however, that the outcome could be a weak standard which has little or no environmental impact.
The European Commission today published a proposal to improve the system for national authorities approving cars to be sold in all 28 EU member states. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the Commission’s constructive and timely attempt to bring into line carmakers who, for decades, have actively undermined the approval system circumventing regulation and damaging public health, safety and the climate.
Aviation giant Airbus is undermining a global fuel efficiency standard for new aircraft – barely weeks after Europe was instrumental in helping secure an ambitious UN global climate deal in Paris, a group of 17 European environmental NGOs  has claimed. Airbus and Boeing aircraft combined account for over 90% of global aviation emissions, but the European manufacturer is arguing it cannot accept a robust efficiency standard as it would damage its business – a claim which suggests it may not be so competitive on fuel efficiency.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation is due to agree, at its triennial General Assembly in October 2016, a global market based (GMBM) mechanism for international aviation emissions. The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, a coalition of environmental NGOs which includes T&E, have drafted a Litmus Draft for what an environmentally effective GMBM would contain.
Today’s discovery by Belgian national TV that official Opel dealers have been modifying anti-pollution software in Zafira diesel cars without informing their customers is a further indication the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal is the tip of the iceberg. The software responsible for the functioning of exhaust after-treatment of Zafira 2014 series cars with a 1.6 diesel engine was being adjusted to have the cars emit three times less nitrogen oxide (NOx) than before the software update.