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TransCanada’s $15 billion lawsuit demonstrates trade threat to democracy and environment

Countries around the world have reached a critical moment in the fight against climate change. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets demanding climate action, more than 190 countries reached a climate agreement in Paris, and renewable energy became more affordable and accessible to communities across the globe. Meanwhile, in sharp contradiction to that, countries negotiated new trade deals that would empower fossil fuel corporations to undermine the exact climate and conservation policies that are needed to tackle the climate crisis.

How the European car industry plans to meet the climate challenge

In this briefing T&E looks at a new study that highlights the key role CO2 standards for cars, vans and trucks in 2025 and 2030 will play in meeting climate goals for 2030. T&E also analyses a report by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) which again looked at ways to reduce road transport's greenhouse gas emissions.

Briefing: ‘Trade for All’ – Balancing environmental protection and trade promotion

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström released her five-year ‘Trade for All’ strategy in October 2015, which acknowledges growing public concern over the EU’s trade policies. We identify five areas that need revision in order to more equitably distribute the benefits and costs of the EU’s trade policy: global value chains; energy imports; sustainable development; investment protection; transparency.

Paris and aviation

Aviation is responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming and its emissions are growing at 4-5% each year. Unless action is taken, the sector risks undermining the Paris Agreement's objective of limiting a temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. There are a number of measures that could be introduced at international and EU level which would reduce the climate impact of the sector, and these need to be pursued urgently by policy makers. 

CO2 standard for aircraft - briefing

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is set to agree in 2016 on the first ever CO2 efficiency standard for new aircraft. With aviation responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming, and the sector’s emissions growing at 4-5% each year, an effective standard which delivers emission reductions beyond business-as-usual is essential if the objectives of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved. Environmental NGOs fear, however, that the outcome could be a weak standard which has little or no environmental impact.

The litmus test: An on-time departure for ICAO’s global market-based measure

The International Civil Aviation Organisation is due to agree, at its triennial General Assembly in October 2016, a global market based (GMBM) mechanism for international aviation emissions. The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, a coalition of environmental NGOs which includes T&E, have drafted a Litmus Draft for what an environmentally effective GMBM would contain.

Europe’s lost decade of truck fuel economy

Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDV), which include trucks and buses, increased by 36% between 1990 and 2010 and are estimated to continue growing in the foreseeable future. HDV emissions currently represent around 30% of all road transport CO2 emissions and unless additional measures are taken by 2030 HDV emissions will increase to over 40% of road transport CO2. By 2030 HDV would emit around 15% of emissions not covered by the EU ETS (non-ETS/ESD) – which EU member states will have to reduce by 30% by 2030. The main reason for the increase of HDV carbon emissions is the stagnation of truck fuel efficiency coupled with increasing demand for road freight.

COP21: Shipping and aviation emissions are the elephants in the room

Aviation emissions are responsible for 5% of global warming and shipping makes up almost 3% of global CO2. These sectors have a CO2 impact equal to the UK and Germany and are continuing to grow rapidly – by up to 270% in 2050, by which time they could account for almost 40% of all emissions. Such emission growth will undermine reductions efforts by all countries and other sectors, effectively making the 1.5/2°C objective impossible to achieve.

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