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IMO shelves Marshall Islands' call to set a global CO2 target for shipping

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.

Indian airline told it must account for EU flight emissions

A ruling by a branch of the British legal system could have far-reaching implications for the future of emissions trading for aviation. An adjudicator has dismissed an appeal by a non-EU airline which refused to report on its emissions from intra-EU flights under the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS). T&E says the impact of the decision is likely to be small, but the implications could be significant.

Seven years’ biofuels deliberations teaches us ‘put quality before quantity’

April 2015 will enter history as the month in which the EU reversed course on its energy policies in transport. It adopted its long-mooted reform of biofuels policy – especially regarding indirect land-use change (ILUC). The practical implications in the next years may not be so big. But the political and longer-term ones are.

EU finally agrees to stop bad biofuels after 2020

The European Parliament has given its final approval to a law capping the use of land-based biofuels in transport. The reform, which aims to be a check on the growing consumption of biofuels that increase carbon emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol due to ILUC emissions, has been passed after seven years of public debate and tense negotiations between the European Commission, MEPs and EU member states.

New ship designs less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990

New ships are on average less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990, according to the first ever study of the historical development of the design efficiency of new ships. A second study also found many recently-constructed ships already meet the International Maritime Organisation’s design efficiency standard for 2020 (EEDI), which is up for review when the IMO meets next week. Both documents suggest that more stringent efficiency standards are within reach.

Biomass ‘zero’ rating sees up to 150m tonnes CO2 escape ETS

Between 90 and 150 million tonnes of CO2 resulting from burning biomass with no climate safeguards are labelled carbon neutral in Europe, according to a new study. This costs EU governments €630m-€1 billion a year in foregone revenue from the emissions trading system (ETS) because such emissions do not require carbon permits and thus industry does not have to surrender allowances for burning biomass.

The Commission’s reheated TTIP investor protection idea is stale... Time for a fresh approach

The European Commission’s latest contribution on the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) scheme is a disappointing, recycled 12-page document that visibly struggles with the contradiction that is inherent in claiming that ISDS under the EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) is of the highest standard while also acknowledging that the problems with ISDS under TTIP are far from resolved.