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The urgency of concerted global action to tackle emissions from international aviation

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New research by the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) highlights both the urgent need for concerted global action to address international aviation emissions and underlines the fact that all current and foreseen emissions reductions measures being promoted by industry and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will fall well short of those needed to prevent dangerous global warming.

Global emissions trading essential to close aviation’s emissions gap in 2050 - study

A new study published today by leading atmospheric scientist Professor David Lee of Manchester Metropolitan University shows that only the adoption of a global ‘market-based measure’ can bring the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) and aviation industry’s shared goal of 2020 ‘carbon neutral growth’ by 2050 within reach. The total impact of all other CO2 reduction measures currently on the table is shown to be insufficient.

Environment Committee confirms the need for global aviation emissions deal

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today for a one-year ‘stop the clock’ derogation from the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for flights to and from Europe. Environmental NGOs Transport & Environment (T&E), WWF, Germanwatch and Brot für die Welt think the ‘stop the clock’ concession is bigger than necessary given the limited progress made in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Road transport in the EU ETS – why it is a bad idea

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This paper is a response from Transport & Environment to the ‘Consultation on structural options to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System’ (ETS) by the European Commission. The response focuses on the fourth (‘d’) of six options proposed – extension of the scope of the ETS to other sectors - with a special focus on extending the scope of the ETS to road transport. T&E strongly opposes this idea, as it will not deliver economic benefits and will seriously jeopardise emissions reductions in transport. 

60 g/km by 2025 is possible with existing technology

A report commissioned by T&E and Greenpeace suggests the EU can more than halve its existing carbon dioxide emissions from new cars with existing technology. The report, by the British consultancy Ricardo-AEA, says the right mixture of electric, hybrid and conventionally-fuelled cars will enable Europe to reach a target of 60 grams per kilometre from the average new car in 2025.

‘Scaremongering’ could lead to louder roads

Efforts to reduce traffic noise across Europe suffered a setback earlier this month when MEPs voted to weaken current noise limits for sports cars and lorries. The outcome of the vote hinders moves to bring EU vehicle noise levels into line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for safe limits. T&E says MEPs have put pressure by the automotive industry ahead of the health of citizens.

Action on charging points to help electric vehicles

The EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas has floated the idea of the EU legislating to oblige member states to provide more charging points for electric vehicles. The proposal came as part of a ‘Clean Power for Transport’ package launched last month that looks to encourage a greater take-up of alternative-fuel vehicles by the public. T&E said it was ‘a small but largely welcome step’ in the right direction.

ICAO and aviation emissions: The clock is ticking

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In 1997 the parties to the Kyoto Protocol agreed that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international aviation should be ‘limited’ or ‘reduced’ working through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN agency responsible for setting international standards for civil aviation. Since Kyoto, ICAO has failed to deliver or agree any mandatory global policies to mitigate emissions. The Organisation closed the door, one by one, on almost every conceivable marketmeasure for reducing aviation’s emissions and now, under pressure to act, is deeply divided over adopting a global solution.The following timeline shows the sluggish progress made in the ICAO, while CO2 emissions from aviation have been growing 4.3% on average per year between 1999 and 2009 and today aviation alone accounts for 4.9% of the cumulative climate change impact of human activities.

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