In April 2015, Norway reached its goal of bringing 50,000 electric cars onto the streets – three years earlier than planned thanks to a generous scheme of incentives. Today more than 120,000 electric vehicles are driving on Norwegian roads. However, not every incentive works out as it should, so what the European Union can learn from the Scandinavian state?
Today’s decision by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to cap the sulphur content of marine fuels sold worldwide at 0.5% by 2020 has been applauded by environmental groups Transport & Environment and Seas At Risk, which are members of the Clean Shipping Coalition. This will reduce SO2 emissions – which cause premature deaths from diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease – from shipping by 85% compared with today’s levels.
Today’s decision to offset but not reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft, and on a voluntary basis, is a weak start which must be followed with more effective measures by states to rein in aviation emissions, Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The deal’s coverage of emissions falls well short of the ‘carbon neutral growth in 2020’ target promised by UN aviation body ICAO and industry, and the lack of clear rules for offsets presents a clear risk to the measure’s environmental effectiveness.
ICAO is about to proclaim mission accomplished in its 20-year search to appear relevant in the fight against aviation climate change. An impressive list of ministers and notables has gathered in the organisation’s Montreal headquarters to help break out the champagne. Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, leading the EU delegation, summed up the aim: “To defend the deal on the table as the lowest common denominator, that is our target.”
Today’s finding by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will regulate US greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft is an opportunity for bilateral action between America and the EU to reduce aviation’s growing climate impact, Transport & Environment has said. The Brussels-based sustainable transport group welcomed the EPA’s decision to set a CO2 standard that is “at least” equivalent to the one agreed at UN-level.
The overall direction for road transport in today’s leaked draft of the European Commission strategy for low-emission mobility has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E), though the sustainable transport group has urged stronger action on greenhouse gases from international aviation and shipping.
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.
The Paris Agreement and the ICAO process to adopt effective climate measures are not separate. The Paris Agreement covers all anthropogenic emissions, sets out important principles on carbon markets, and sends a clear signal that the aviation sector must act. This document was produced by the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA)