This blogpost was first published in EurActiv.The UNFCCC negotiating text took an important step forward last week with the inclusion in the text of wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees.
In the final years of negotiations for the new climate agreement, it’s still not clear if it will include the fastest growing emissions sources — international aviation and shipping, also known as bunker fuels.
This blogpost was first published as a comment by EurActiv.This week, the proposal to reform EU biofuels policy is back on the European Parliament’s agenda for the second reading, starting with a discussion about MEP Nils Torvalds’ recommendation, and a vote in the environment committee on 24 February.
The latest round of climate talks concluded in Lima last month with a sense that some of the basics have been agreed to set the foundations of a global agreement in Paris next year. While the final outcome fell short of expectations, all parties seem to have accepted in principal the need to curb their emissions to keep an increase in global temperature below 2C. However, the two international sectors, aviation and shipping - the emissions of which have not been allocated to parties - seem to be the exception.
We live in a world where governments struggle to address climate change. Scientific advice on what needs to be done to stop warming our planet is very clear; stop burning fossil fuels. Even the rather conservative International Energy Agency (IEA) agrees that we need to leave more than two-thirds of proven oil reserves in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The rapid slide in oil prices, down 41% since June, has left the aviation industry struggling to defend its continuing high fuel surcharges and continuing reports of record profit. Here is IATA's director general, Tony Tyler, updating his stance on oil prices in light of recent developments.
Two proposed trade deals – the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA), and the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – have attracted widespread international criticism by threatening to give unrivaled, unfettered "investment" rights to multinational corporations, including the world's worst polluters. While the text of CETA has been finalized and made public and TTIP is in an earlier phase of secretive negotiations, both still require formal ratification. It's not too late – the EU, U.S. and Canada should eliminate corporate-empowering rules from trade agreements rather than falsely claim that the rules have been "reformed" for the better.
Sometimes in life, you really need to prove that you’re good at something. Good at running, good at singing, good at football, good at your job. Other times, however, it may seem like it’s enough to just be better than someone else. Yes, maybe I’m not great at my job, but at least I’m better than that guy. Last week, we discovered that the European biodiesel industry is abandoning its attempt to argue that biodiesel is really good for the environment, and is instead focusing on trying to find something that has an even worse carbon performance than biodiesel.