Browse by topic: Briefing, Climate Change and Energy


How the EU can better align spending with its climate and energy targets

The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) determines how EU money is spent. The current €1 trillion budget runs from 2014 to 2020 with almost €100 billion earmarked for investment in the transport sector. The current MFF Regulation states that “the Commission should present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework before 1 January 2018”. This budget would most likely start from 2021.

Transport is the largest source of EU emissions and accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400.000 premature deaths per year, 26.000 people die in traffic annually and the EU economy loses €100 billion every year in congestion. A large portion of the EU’s budget is currently spent on expanding road infrastructure and building up fossil fuel infrastructure (e.g. LNG terminals). A future EU budget should invest tax payers money more carefully, and prioritize investment in infrastructure that reduces the environmental impact of transport and assists member states in reaching their climate goals. In this paper T&E outlines how part of the post-2020 budget should be allocated.

Published on September 19, 2017 - 14:48

Introduction of WLTP and RDE tests

The introduction of the new car tests, the WLTP and RDE tests, marks an important milestone in the battle to ensure cars comply with environmental limits on the road and to end the cheating that has become endemic in emissions testing. But, as this briefing outlines, new tests are not a panacea and will need to be further refined to ensure they are really representative of how cars are driven. The forthcoming decisions on how and who approves cars for sale will be key to ensuring the system of approvals is independent and rigorously enforced.

Published on September 1, 2017 - 10:46

Phasing out crop-based biofuels: what it would really mean for investments and jobs

Crop-based biofuels were seen as a way to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels and decarbonise the transport sector. But emerging evidence about negative environmental and climate impacts of these biofuels has led to the European Commission proposing to gradually phase-out the policy support in the EU. Industry stakeholders argue that this would adversely affect past investments and put jobs at risk.

Published on July 17, 2017 - 16:36

Why the VECTO black box needs to be opened up

This paper that dates from July 2015 is commissioned by Transport & Environment and analyses the main input parameters of VECTO – the simulation tool that will be used to measure truck CO2 emissions and fuel consumption as from 2019. The paper gives an overview of the test procedures for the so-called input parameters (engine, tyres, aerodynamic drag, axles, transmission and auxiliaries).

Published on July 4, 2017 - 10:03

The non-CO2 impacts of aviation must be tackled

The non-CO2 effects of aviation have been acknowledged by scientists but ignored by policymakers. It is estimated that gases other than CO2 have at least as large a climate impact as CO2. The European Commission has so far failed to address aviation’s non-CO2 effects despite undertaking to do so in 2008. This risks undermining the EU’s climate policy. This report's authors, CE Delft, recommend that the Commission acts on its 2008 promise and proposes measures such as a charge on NOx emissions and earmarks funds for research into other non-CO2 effects such as contrail and cirrus formation and their avoidance. 

Published on June 16, 2017 - 17:09

Decarbonisation of aviation: why EU and ICAO action is needed

Aviation accounts for over 13% of Europe’s transport CO2 emissions and a far greater share of its climate impact – its non-CO2 effects can equal or exceed those of its CO2 effects. Globally, aviation emissions are expected to grow 300% by 2050 unless action is taken. This fast growth is partly fuelled by measures including highly preferential tax treatment, burgeoning direct subsidies, exceptional treatment in the EU ETS, and undue reliance on the industry-dominated UN agency ICAO to regulate emissions.
Published on February 20, 2017 - 09:48

Why MEPs must act on aviation and shipping emissions

In a plenary vote on 14 February, the European Parliament will adopt its position on reforms to Europe’s emissions trading system (EU ETS) for the 4th trading period (2021-2030). These reforms aim to fix major issues with EU ETS such as the need for tighter reduction caps and the oversupply of allowances which has depressed the carbon price.

Published on February 9, 2017 - 14:22

COP22: aviation emissions under Paris

Aviation is responsible for an estimated 5% of climate change, however the Paris Agreement left it unclear who is responsible for regulating the sector’s emissions. At the conclusion of COP21, the UN’s aviation agency, ICAO, and the aviation sector itself committed to substantial climate action in 2016. Now is the time to evaluate whether they followed through on that commitment. The two measures adopted in 2016 – a CO2 standard for new aircraft and a global market based measure to stabilise emissions at 2020 levels fall far short of what the Paris Agreement requires. Neither will have a meaningful impact on aviation emissions. Much more is needed – both greater ambition at ICAO, but also developed countries must go first and take serious action to reduce emissions from the aviation sectors which dwarf emissions from developing countries.

Published on November 14, 2016 - 16:02

Starting point + banking: a fatal combination for the ESR?

In July, the European Commission presented a proposal to achieve the 2030 climate target for transport, buildings, agriculture and waste. The Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) proposal formally requires a 30% cut compared to 2005 and distributes the efforts amongst member states. However, it has several shortcomings, including an allowance to use ETS and LULUCF credits. Moreover, the way the ESR’s starting point has been set, will create a surplus of emission allowances which can be carried over towards the second part of the period. This paper analyses the impact of the proposed starting point in combination with unlimited banking.

Published on September 30, 2016 - 10:14