MEPs have backed a more robust climate law than that proposed by the European Commission – sending a sharp message to national governments that they too must support a strong Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) if a compromise is to be reached. The European Parliament’s plenary this month voted for a more ambitious starting point, while it capped the so-called banking flexibility but kept the loophole on forestry credits so member states can avoid some emissions reductions.
The former EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard has warned that the proposed agreement to stabilise emissions from aircraft will only work if all the details are transparent. Writing on the Climate Home website, she said without transparency there is a risk that airlines will offset their growing greenhouse gas emissions against projects that either don’t do enough to combat climate change or are being ‘double counted’.
A new report on Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions says the EU must take action to get transport under control. The report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows average long-term emissions are going down, but road, ship and air transport are still dragging down the overall achievement, and contributed to a small rise in 2015.
In recent years, there have been numerous examples of member states hiding behind Brussels’ procedures such as the opaque comitology procedure. Member states managed to significantly weaken implementing legislation, such as air pollution limits, or refusing to take a decision at all. It was up to the Commission to take a final, often unpopular decision - for which the Commission was then blamed - which led to the infamous Brussels Blame Game. As a response, Commission president Juncker proposed a targeted reform of the Comitology Regulation 182/2011.
The widely-held assumption that little can be done to lower agriculture's climate emissions is being challenged by a new independent study. As MEPs debate expanding the use of controversial forestry credits and other loopholes to help sectors such as agriculture and transport meet their climate targets, the Institute for European Environmental Policy says there is significant untapped potential to reduce farming’s impact.
Following remarks by Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary rejecting the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, T&E and Climate Action Network Europe call on Ryanair's European lobbying group, AirlinesforEurope (A4E), and A4E's other member airlines to state publicly whether they side with O'Leary's climate denial or whether they accept the proven link between human activity and a warming planet.With aviation emissions continuing to soar – up 8% in Europe alone in 2016 – and governments struggling to introduce effective measures to rein them in, there is a strong public and consumer interest in knowing whether European airlines accept the need to take action on climate change or are intent on identifying with the diminishing band of climate deniers. National and European decision makers should also know where airlines stand on the issue of climate change when they are being intensively lobbied by airlines on the issue.
A joint plenary letter, on behalf of POLIS, HEAL, EEB, ClientEarth and Transport & Environment, calling for the establishment of an independent EU authority to check vehicles as part of the Type Approval reform.