The European Parliament will vote next week on whether to strengthen the proposal for Europe’s key climate law, the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – or ‘Climate Action Regulation’, the name agreed by the environment committee. MEPs will be asked to back a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and to close some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
There are growing calls for a green tax shift to the transport sector, which would help fill a gap in the EU’s budget after the UK leaves. A T&E analysis has found new measures such as a carbon tax on motor fuels, aviation kerosene duty, and ending the VAT exemption for flights within and from Europe would raise more than €50 billion annually. And last week, as EU leaders discussed the looming gap, 17 eminent economists rowed in behind the idea, calling it a ‘once in a decade opportunity’ to create a fossil-fuel contribution to the EU budget.
A Dutch shipbuilding company says it will start operating electricity-powered container ships in August. The barges, which can run without any crew, are powered by seven-metre battery packs charged up on land. The company says use of the barges between three Dutch ports will take around 23,000 trucks off the roads.
US trucks CO2 standards have delivered American hauliers more than three times the return on their investment in just one year. A new analysis by T&E shows that before the application of standards, the price of new trucks was rising but fuel consumption didn’t improve. Since the standards came in, buyers have been paying around $400 (€321) more per new truck but in return they get an average of $1,400 of additional fuel savings every year.
The continued use of high-emitting biofuels to power Europe’s cars and trucks is up for decision in the European Parliament next week. In deciding the Parliament’s position on reform of the Renewable Energy Directive, MEPs will be asked whether European drivers should be obliged to burn massive quantities of food crops in their fuel tanks until 2030.
Transport has taken over from power generation as the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US – and the situation is likely to get worse as the Trump administration plans to weaken emissions standards. T&E says the policy will only damage US carmakers. Transport has been the single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in Europe since 2016.
National governments and MEPs have reached a provisional deal on Europe’s key climate law which will cover about 60% of the Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The Effort Sharing Regulation, now renamed the Climate Action Regulation, provides flexibilities and loopholes that could see Europe miss its 2030 target. The law sets binding national emission reduction targets for the 2021-2030 period for sectors not covered in the emissions trading system, mainly: road transport, buildings, agriculture and waste.
Efforts to position electrofuels as the great hope to decarbonise road transport received a blow with findings that the synthetic fuel is neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution for cars and trucks.