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Up to 7% of carbon emissions in the ETS escape through loophole – study

Between 90 and 150 million tonnes of CO2 resulting from burning biomass with no climate safeguards are ‘labelled’ carbon neutral in Europe and thus do not require carbon permits under the EU emissions trading system (ETS), according to a new study published today. This represents up to 7% of all emissions in the ETS on an annual basis or three times the CO2 emissions released in Portugal in 2012.

Parliament says yes to safer, more efficient lorries

The European Parliament today voted to end brick-shaped lorries, clearing the way for advances in fuel efficiency and safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The new law allows lorrymakers to produce new designs but industry lobbyists secured a ban until 2022 even though the new designs are voluntary, not mandatory. The Commission will propose new safety requirements for trucks by amending its vehicle safety regulations by 2016.

Shipping industry must support CO2 target for sector, say transport groups

The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) is calling on shipping industry leaders to support a carbon emissions reduction target for their sector, as ship owners and stakeholders gather in Brussels for European Shipping Week. The CSC, the global NGO coalition campaigning for cleaner shipping [1], said that as the only remaining major economic sphere yet to tackle its carbon emissions, shipping must act urgently to do their part to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees.

EU Energy Union: good intentions, short on specifics, backtracking on trucks

The European Commission’s Energy Union strategy for cleaner cars and electrification of transport is welcome but the removal of CO2 standards for trucks and buses is a disappointing concession to special interests, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment has said. The inclusion of aviation and shipping in the 2030 reduction commitment – which covers all sectors and sources of emissions – is now clear, and the call for the Paris climate conference to set a 2016 deadline for action by ICAO and IMO is timely.

European Parliament votes to phase out first-generation biofuels after 2020

Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today to limit at 6% the use of land-based biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020. They also approved accounting of indirect emissions (known as ILUC) [1] from biofuels under the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) with a review clause to put them in all pieces of legislation after 2020 [2]. This vote will put the brakes on the growing consumption of biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol. 

T&E welcomes common rules to enable smarter road tolls in Europe

Earlier this week, Violeta Bulc, the EU’s head of transport, announced plans to develop a Europe-wide scheme to charge lorries and cars for using roads. Bulc clarified that the scheme would be optional, meaning that countries like the UK could opt out if they want to. The Transport Commissioner also stressed that the amount of the fee should be based exclusively on the distance driven and should not be time-dependent, which would bolster more efficient use of roads.

IMO progress on black carbon in Arctic ‘welcome but long overdue’

The decision at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to recommend to its environment committee a definition of black carbon arrived at by scientific consensus, after four years of debate, has been welcomed by environmental NGO Transport & Environment. Lack of agreement at sub-committee level had been holding up technical work to calibrate and test black carbon measurement methods that could be used to evaluate control measures as well as monitoring and engine certification technology.

Biofuels reform back in European Parliament – view new web documentary

As the European Parliament’s Environment Committee Rapporteur today presents his report on the reform of Europe’s biofuels policy, a new web documentary explores how the EU has failed to decarbonise transport through biofuels. The web documentary can be found at www.biofuelsreform.org.

EU governments agree cleaner, safer lorries – but Commission must drive improvements

Representatives of EU governments today accepted a deal with the European Parliament to end brick-shaped lorries, clearing the way for advances in fuel efficiency and safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The agreed law allows lorrymakers to produce new designs but industry lobbyists secured a ban until 2022 even though the new designs are voluntary, not mandatory [1]. The Commission will propose new safety requirements for trucks by amending its vehicle safety regulations by 2016.

European Parliament adopts a weakened fuel quality law after 8 years of fierce lobbying by Canada and Big Oil

The full European Parliament today narrowly approved weak fuel quality rules that fail to discourage oil companies from using and investing in the world’s dirtiest oil such as tar sands and coal-to-liquid. 337 MEPs voted against because they found the rules too weak, more than the 325 who approved them. But it fell short of the qualified majority of 376 needed for rejection. 

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