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Immediate global action needed to reduce aviation climate impact - Report

A new scientific report released today highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation.  With a decision expected shortly on how and when to tackle international aviation emissions, this new report increases the pressure on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) not to defer a decision on the adoption of a market-based measure (MBM).

Correction: New revised estimates of EU biofuels support in 2011

CORRECTION NOTE: On 23 August 2013, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), author of the study, corrected the estimates of the public support the EU biofuels industry received in 2011. The revised overall estimate for EU biofuels subsidies is now €5.5-6.9 (average 6.2) billion per year, and not €9.3-10.7 (average 10) billion per year, as originally published in April 2013. According to IISD, the revision is due to a calculation error on the volume of biofuels eligible for tax exemptions in certain countries. All other estimates remain the same, including those for the cost of consumption mandates which make up the largest type of public support. "The conclusions and recommendations presented in the original report also remain unchanged", IISD stated in its Addendum.

EU governments miss out on up to €39bn a year due to aviation’s tax breaks

Debt-ridden EU countries miss out on up to €39bn every year, a sum rivalling that of Spain’s drastic budget cut in 2013, representing fuel and value-added taxes (VAT) that air carriers don’t pay, a new study shows. 

Environment Committee steers EU biofuels in a sustainable direction

There is light at the end of the tunnel after the Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today in favour of full accounting of indirect emissions (ILUC) [1] from biofuels that can count toward both the EU’s 6% carbon reduction target in transport fuels and the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020 [2]. This vote aligns EU policy with the most robust science available today and will stop the growing consumption of some biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuels. More importantly, it will promote the production of genuinely emissions reducing transport fuels such as advanced biofuels and renewable electricity for electric vehicles.

Commission defends €3bn annual subsidies for low-cost airlines

The European Commission today published new draft guidelines [1] that will allow regional airports and EU carriers serving them to keep receiving subsidies worth €3bn a year. In a good number of cases [2] these rules prop up unprofitable regional airports and low-cost carriers, allowing them to continue to operate in an unsustainable way which distorts competition between budget and national carriers.  The proposed guidelines also permit the bail out of financially unviable operations for a decade and allow infrastructure aid for building new airports to continue in aeternum.

Commission makes timid first steps towards controlling ship emissions

The European Commission has published today a proposal to monitor, report and verify (MRV) on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. This measure will apply to all ships calling at EU ports and could to set the baseline for an eventual measure to actually require emissions reductions. Shipping is responsible for over 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and these will double by 2020 if nothing is done to curb them.

German political muscle used to delay vote on 2020 car emissions limits

Representatives of EU Member States today delayed the vote on a deal that would have limited average car fleet emissions to 95g of CO2 per kilometre from 2020. Earlier this week, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Irish Presidency of the European Council had reached an agreement, which was on the agenda of today’s meeting for endorsement by Member States.

Vans to become more fuel efficient, but not till after 2020

Transport & Environment (T&E) has expressed disappointment that an EU agreement has failed to adopt a more stringent 2020 target for van fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The deal does, however, recognise that the EU needs stricter fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards for vans in 2025, which, in the longer-term, will deliver significant emissions reductions and fuel savings.

EU signals car fuel economy could double by 2025

Transport & Environment (T&E) has welcomed an EU agreement that could lead to a doubling of the fuel-efficiency of new cars by 2025 and a halving of CO2 emissions. However, the final agreement is weaker than that of the European Parliament and offers too many concessions to appease German luxury carmakers.

Auto-sector innovation could create millions of jobs by 2030 and help revitalize Europe’s growth

Europe could improve its growth prospects and create 500,000 to 1.1 million net additional jobs in 2030 through auto sector innovation. Increased technology to cut fuel consumption would allow the EU to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and deliver between €58 and €83 billion a year in fuel savings for the EU economy by 2030. This shift will achieve the double bonus of mitigating climate change and creating a much-needed economic stimulus.

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