Aviation is responsible for 5% of man-made climate change; the sector currently emits around 2.3% of annual global CO2 emissions. Without action this is expected to grow considerably.
An ETS with 85% free allowances, combined with the fuel tax and VAT exemptions, while charging buses and trains and thus distorting competition, is simply self-defeating. Member states and the European Commission vice-presidents must take responsibility for these failures and start to address aviation in a joined-up way, not via silos where directorates abrogate joint responsibility for addressing cross-cutting questions such as fuel tax, VAT or state-aid scandals. Non-CO2 emissions must be taken seriously and measures should be prepared.
On the opening day of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) high level meeting in Montreal, 64 environmental organisations and Members of the European Parliament call for the aviation sector to develop a robust tool to reduce their emissions in line with the Paris agreement.
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.
A mobile app that allows travellers to compare journey times between plane, train, bus or car has released a list of 14 major European inter-city routes that are faster by rail than by plane. Train routes between Brussels-Paris and Brussels-London offer the biggest time savings – of more than three hours, according to GoEuro, a two-year-old website.
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.
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.
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).