The controversial EU-Canada free trade agreement (CETA) has received the backing it needs to provisionally enter into force on 1 March. Last week the European Parliament voted in favour of the deal by 408 to 254 votes – despite serious concerns that it privileges private investors and does nothing to support Europe and Canada’s climate commitments.
The Platform for Electro-mobility is a growing collaborative, multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate the transition towards sustainable transport by means of electro-mobility. In the framework of the discussions on the “Clean energy for all Europeans” package, the 25 members believe that electro-mobility is one of the main levers to achieve the European Union’s goals to decarbonise the economy, increase energy security and foster innovation and competitiveness in Europe’s core industries.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this last editorial for the T&E Bulletin, having led this wonderful organisation since 2004. The obvious question to ask now is ‘Have we made a difference?’
A year on from the Paris climate accord, the EU is putting its attention into mechanisms to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gases. The biggest of these climate laws, the so-called Effort-Sharing Regulation, is now under attack from a group of governments led by Italy and Poland. The push to halve the EU’s 2030 climate efforts comes as a new report says transport, buildings and agriculture emissions would need to be close to zero in 2050 to keep global warming below 2°C.
This summer, the European Commission will present a new legislative proposal on the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) for the post-2020 period. Around 60% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the non-ETS sectors, such as surface transport, agriculture, waste and buildings.
Following the result of the UK referendum to leave the EU, the Green 10 – 10 of the leading environmental networks active at European level – said the result was a blow to the values of openness, inclusiveness, tolerance, respect and commitment to sustainability that the EU represents. In the coming debate on how the EU will live up to these values, it must become better in making the case for the values and benefits EU policies have brought for its citizens’ health and wellbeing, the Green 10’s directors wrote in letter to presidents Juncker, Tusk and Schulz, and Prime Minister Rutte. These include cleaner air, water and beaches, thriving wildlife, safer substances and green energy, to name but a few. These benefits should be communicated loud and clear and all the time.
The European Commission will soon present new climate policy to reduce the emissions of the non-traded sectors after 2020. These sectors – including road transport, buildings and agriculture, amongst others – are currently covered by the EU’s Effort Sharing Decision (ESD), which regulates almost 60% of the GHG greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.