Speech to Informal Council of EU Environment Ministers by Jos Dings, executive director, Transport & EnvironmentAmsterdam, 14 April 2016Thank you Madam President for the invitation and for organising this very timely and relevant event.I represent Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based environmental group specialising in sustainable transport, with 50 member organisations in 27 countries across this beautiful continent.
The shipping sector’s response to the Paris climate agreement was left in disarray after governments attending a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today were unable to even agree on a work plan to develop a ‘fair share’ contribution to the goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5/2°C. The IMO could only manage to kick the can down the road to its next meeting in October.
In this letter, the members of the Coalition for Higher Ambition – businesses, cities, trade unions and civil society groups – write to the heads of states and governments ahead of the signing ceremony of the Paris agreement on Friday, 22 April. The coalition urges the EU to adjust 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas reductions targets to the long-term goals of the Paris agreement. It also highlights the need for strong economy-wide EU targets (including international aviation and shipping).
The European Parliament today called on EU governments to align the 2030 EU climate target with the Paris Agreement and introduce EU measures to cut emissions from aviation and shipping. In a letter sent to Europe’s ministers of transport and environment, the heads of seven political groups of the Parliament's environment committee also demanded greater climate ambition at both ICAO and IMO, the UN bodies charged with regulating emissions from aircraft and ships respectively, and at EU level.
Increasing the use of natural gas in cars and trucks would be largely ineffective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, a new independent study finds. There are no GHG savings in shifting from diesel cars and trucks to compressed or liquefied natural gas (LNG) cars and trucks, while petrol-hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars deliver much greater climate benefits, the study for sustainable transport group Transport & Environment says.
Shipowners and operators have told the UN’s International Maritime Organisation that the shipping industry should adopt an emissions reduction pledge like countries have done under the Paris climate agreement. It’s the first time the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called for mandated reductions in shipping CO2, though it ruled out binding targets and didn’t suggest a concrete timeline of action.
The 1.5/2°C warming limit agreed at the Paris climate summit will be impossible to meet unless Europe and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduce measures to cut shipping emissions, NGOs Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment have warned. Shipping could be responsible for 17% of global CO2 emissions in 2050 if left unregulated, according to an EU study, placing climate action firmly at the top of the EU commissioners’ and IMO secretary-general’s agendas when they meet in Brussels today.
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.
Transport & Environment (T&E), with the financial support of Umweltbundesamt (UBA), is convening a policy discussion on the contribution of shipping to the EU's emissions reduction targets for 2030. The event will bring together high-profile speakers from industry, governments and academia and NGOs to discuss how the sector can carries its fair share of the burden to meet the objectives of the Paris climate agreement.