The European Parliament’s trade committee today decided that Europe’s national courts cannot be trusted with safeguarding the rights of international investors when it called for private arbitration to be retained in the EU-US trade deal. MEPs voted for the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause (ISDS) – though repackaged under a different name for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ISDS allows foreign investors to directly sue governments in private arbitration panels, with potential awards paid by taxpayers.
EU regulators have today agreed new test procedures that will, for the first time, measure the ‘real world’ emissions of diesel cars under the Euro 6 air quality standard. It will require vehicles to be tested on roads rather than in laboratories, overcoming obsolete tests and ‘cycle beating’ techniques used by carmakers to achieve results in tests many times lower than actual air pollution emissions on the road.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has paid a €1.4 million fine levied by a Belgian regional government for not complying with the EU’s aviation emissions trading system (ETS), prompting calls for all member states to disclose non-European airlines in breach of the rules. Countries are required to do so under a 2008 EU law.
Regrettably the IMO decided today that business as usual is more important than agreeing that international shipping must make its fair contribution to combatting climate change.Today's proposals and procedural excuses at the IMO in London are evidently more important than heeding to impassioned pleas by the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands and the Climate Change Minister of recently cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu that shipping must first agree whether a reduction target is the overall objective.
A new CE Delft study has revealed that many recently constructed ships already meet the International Maritime Organisation’s design efficiency standard for 2020, indicating that there is significant room for tightening these standards when the IMO meets next week.
Shipping users will for the first time be granted access to transparent data that identifies the most efficient ships and practices, under a law approved by the European Parliament in full today. The public disclosure of fuel efficiency data will enhance competition for the best ships and routes, which in turn will trigger market forces that will result in fuel savings. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said the measure is a stepping stone to CO2 targets that will start delivering much-needed cuts to shipping’s ever-growing emissions.
The full European Parliament today agreed to cap the use of land-based biofuels in transport, with the aim of being a check on the growing consumption of biofuels that increase carbon emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol. Today’s vote marks the endgame for the EU’s public policy support for biofuels, after more than a decade.
Carbon emissions of the average new car sold in Europe fell 2.6% in 2014 to 123.4g/km, according to official figures published today by the European Environmental Agency (EEA). Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) warned that most of the improvement was being delivered through cheating in flawed tests with no benefits for drivers in better fuel economy on the road.
The use of land-based biofuels as part of EU plans for the decarbonisation of transport will be restricted under a proposal endorsed by the European Parliament’s environment committee today. Transport & Environment cautiously welcomes the decision, which is expected to be approved by the full Parliament later this month, will limit at 7% the use of first-generation biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020.
New ships built in 2013 were on average 10% less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990, according to a new study. It also shows that container ships built 30 years ago already, on average, beat the so-called ‘Energy Efficiency Design Index’ standard that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set for new ships built in 2020. The standard is up for review next month.