Diesel trains and barges will not need to have exhaust treatment systems even though they are required for cars and trucks, EU governments and MEPs agreed last month. The new law means citizens living along rail-lines and close to rail stations must continue to breathe cancer-causing diesel fumes, T&E warned.
A Portuguese regional airport that was expanded with large amounts of EU funding has announced plans to turn itself into an aircraft parking facility because demand for the airport has fallen badly short of predictions. The case highlights T&E’s call for greater scrutiny of public money being used to prop up carbon-intensive, underutilised infrastructure with questionable social and economic benefits.
A leading economist is warning that if the world does not take the action required by the Paris climate agreement, it will have to make a dangerously sudden adjustment 10-15 years from now which will have massive costs.
Even a modest rise in temperatures could put at risk 1.8% of the world’s financial assets if the global economy does not move away from carbon-emitting infrastructure, according to a new study from the London School of Economics (LSE). Another body that monitors the impact of climate change on the global economy says the model used to arrive at this figure has been too generous and the situation could be much worse.
A controversy is growing in Germany about future funding mechanisms for building and maintaining roads. The federal government and the 16 state governments are looking at new financing options involving the private sector, but T&E’s member VCD has criticised the direction in which the discussions are going, saying they take no account of the need to fight climate change and changing transport trends.
A consortium of car makers, oil companies and biofuels producers (the Auto Fuel Coalition) have wrongly claimed existing policies are almost sufficient to tackle transport emissions. The coalition report produced by German consultancy Roland Berger examined the measures needed to achieve CO2 reductions in the transport sector by 2030. In this briefing T&E outlines how that study makes a number of grossly incorrect assumptions that lead to hugely exaggerated estimates of the effectiveness of current rules.
The EU’s failure to push for a ban on the use by ships of heavy fuel oil (HFO), a toxic pollutant, when operating in the Arctic is a major cause of concern, a group of eight environmental NGOs has said. However, they welcomed the European Commission’s focus on climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and on protecting the environment in its new Arctic strategy.
Today’s claim by Shell and carmakers that current climate policies virtually complete the job of tackling transport emissions is wishful thinking, an analysis by green transport group Transport & Environment shows. The Auto Fuel Coalition of carmakers, oil companies and biofuels producers published a 2030 CO2 estimate of the effect of existing climate policies that is 20% below the European Commission’s own reference scenario.
The Effort Sharing Decision covers close to 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. It is the EU’s carbon budget for the transport, building and agriculture sectors, among other smaller sectors. It is critical that the 2030 ESD delivers real-world GHG reductions of at least 30%. However, it is equally important to transform the current ESD into an instrument that is “Paris proof”. The review of the 2030 ESD provides a unique opportunity to lay the foundation of a climate governance regime that is robust enough to accommodate the increased ambition the Paris agreement requires. This briefing discusses five new ideas to improve ESD governance.
The ICAO standard for new aircraft was agreed in February 2016. The purpose of the standard is to see manufacturers produce aircraft with lower CO2 emissions than would have been the case without the standard. Regrettably that is not going to happen. The measure comes too late and the stringency is too weak. In addition the standard will not impact the plans of Airbus and Boeing whose aircraft combined account for over 90% of aviation emissions. A last minute addition means that both manufacturers can continue producing less fuel efficient aircraft until 2028 or even longer. Europe should call immediately for the standard to be revised or reject it outright.