Debt-ridden EU countries miss out on up to €39bn every year, a sum rivalling that of Spain’s drastic budget cut in 2013, representing fuel and value-added taxes (VAT) that air carriers don’t pay, a new study shows.
There is light at the end of the tunnel after the Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today in favour of full accounting of indirect emissions (ILUC)  from biofuels that can count toward both the EU’s 6% carbon reduction target in transport fuels and the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020 . This vote aligns EU policy with the most robust science available today and will stop the growing consumption of some biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuels. More importantly, it will promote the production of genuinely emissions reducing transport fuels such as advanced biofuels and renewable electricity for electric vehicles.
The European Commission today published new draft guidelines  that will allow regional airports and EU carriers serving them to keep receiving subsidies worth €3bn a year. In a good number of cases  these rules prop up unprofitable regional airports and low-cost carriers, allowing them to continue to operate in an unsustainable way which distorts competition between budget and national carriers. The proposed guidelines also permit the bail out of financially unviable operations for a decade and allow infrastructure aid for building new airports to continue in aeternum.
The European Commission has published today a proposal to monitor, report and verify (MRV) on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. This measure will apply to all ships calling at EU ports and could to set the baseline for an eventual measure to actually require emissions reductions. Shipping is responsible for over 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and these will double by 2020 if nothing is done to curb them.
Representatives of EU Member States today delayed the vote on a deal that would have limited average car fleet emissions to 95g of CO2 per kilometre from 2020. Earlier this week, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Irish Presidency of the European Council had reached an agreement, which was on the agenda of today’s meeting for endorsement by Member States.
Transport & Environment (T&E) has expressed disappointment that an EU agreement has failed to adopt a more stringent 2020 target for van fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The deal does, however, recognise that the EU needs stricter fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards for vans in 2025, which, in the longer-term, will deliver significant emissions reductions and fuel savings.
Transport & Environment (T&E) has welcomed an EU agreement that could lead to a doubling of the fuel-efficiency of new cars by 2025 and a halving of CO2 emissions. However, the final agreement is weaker than that of the European Parliament and offers too many concessions to appease German luxury carmakers.
Europe could improve its growth prospects and create 500,000 to 1.1 million net additional jobs in 2030 through auto sector innovation. Increased technology to cut fuel consumption would allow the EU to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and deliver between €58 and €83 billion a year in fuel savings for the EU economy by 2030. This shift will achieve the double bonus of mitigating climate change and creating a much-needed economic stimulus.
Members of the European Parliament’s Energy Committee in a vote today weakened an already modest proposal to fix EU biofuels policy, hampering the transition towards more sustainable biofuels. MEPs voted not only against accounting for biofuel emissions from indirect land-use change (ILUC) but even against reporting them , allowing biofuels that increase emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol to count towards the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020 .
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade body comprising 240 airlines worldwide, today finally acknowledged the need for a global market–based measure to reduce aviation's contribution to climate change. IATA called on their airline members to encourage their governments to agree at this year’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly on a global carbon offsetting measure to take effect in 2020.