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A critical assessment of the Aachen study on the CO2 reduction potential for light commercial vehicles

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In 2010 the EU reached an agreement on CO2 emission standards for light commercial vehicles (vans). The final outcome was a significant weakening of the initial Commission proposal of 135g CO2/km. Misinformation about technological potential and inflated cost estimates convinced policy makers that the proposed target levels had to be weakened. A study which was instrumental in influencing policy makers was the 2010 Aachen (IKA) study. It had been commissioned by the German ministry of economy to inform its position and concluded that CO2 emission reductions from vans are extremely difficult and very expensive. Despite the availability of new and more up-to-date studies, today the same study continues to be used to assert that 147g is an “over-ambitious” target.This briefing analyses how the IKA study came to its results and assesses the credibility of these results. 

The German proposals on super credits

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In July 2012 the Commission published its proposal to review Regulation 443/2009 which sets CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars. This proposal includes incentives for the sales of ultra-low carbon vehicles through so-called super credits. Germany has suggested significant changes to the Commission proposal. This briefing assesses the impact of the German proposals and compares them to other available solutions.

Appraisal of the Ulmer Report on cars & CO2

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In July 2012 the Commission published its proposal to review Regulation 443/2009 which sets CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars. The Environment Committee leads the deliberations in the European Parliament and Thomas Ulmer (EPP) has been appointed rapporteur. This briefing appraises proposals within his report and quantifies how these could lead to a weakening of the target in excess of 10g, raising the target to more than 105g/km.

Appraisal of the Krahmer Report on vans & CO2

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In July 2012 the Commission published its proposal to review Regulation 510/2011 which sets CO2 emission targets for new light commercial vehicles (vans). The Environment Committee leads the deliberations in the European Parliament and Holger Krahmer (ALDE) has been appointed rapporteur. This briefing appraises proposals within his report and quantifies how these could lead to a weakening of the target in excess of 10g, raising the target to more than 157g/km.

The right utility parameter – mass or footprint (or both)?

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In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020.  In July, the Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target. The regulation takes account of the “utility” or purpose of the cars produced by different manufacturers whose targets therefore vary. In 2009, the EU agreed to account for the utility of the vehicles and set targets for individual manufacturers by comparing the average weight (mass) of the cars they produce. This was largely because data was not available on the average size (footprint) of registered cars until 2011. The Commission’s new proposal is to continue to use mass as a measure of utility until 2020 in order to minimize changes to the regulation. 

Stop the Clock: the ETS Aviation Derogation

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The European Commission has proposed a one year “stop the clock” derogation for the aviation portion of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive to provide ‘breathing space’ for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to come to a global agreement on regulating international aviation emissions. The derogation applies to all flights to and from Europe (including EFTA states and Croatia) except intra-European flights.T&E regrets that the Commission has been put in this difficult position through international pressure, particularly from the US.

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