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.
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.
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.
Margrethe Vestager, European Competition commissioner has announced that she is stepping up the anti-trust and cartel investigation against EU truckmakers. The Commission suspects several truckmakers of price fixing and anti-competitive behaviour. Cartel behaviour hampers innovation in safety and fuel efficiency.
To understand the grievous concerns about the safety of lorries on our roads you only need look at their record in my country, Britain. HGV accidents, especially those involving cyclists, are a key issue for transport in the UK at the moment. In London, lorries were involved in over half of cyclists' deaths even though they only made up 5% of traffic in both 2011 and 2012. HGVs were involved in 51% of fatal collisions on UK motorways – even though they only made up 11 per cent of motorway traffic in 2012.