For the first time more electric and hybrid vehicles are being sold in Norway than petrol and diesel vehicles. The new milestone in the rapid growth of EVs is largely the result of incentives offered by the Norwegian government in a bid to phase out sales of new oil-powered cars by 2025.
The contribution flying makes to climate change is finally starting to slow down plans to expand a number of airports across Europe. Two recent decisions in particular – one in Vienna, the other in London – suggest that commitments to reducing climate changing gases are causing rethinks over the growth of airports.
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?’
Food-based biofuels can still be counted towards the EU’s renewable energy target, the European Commission has proposed – in a stunning U-turn on its commitment to phase-out first-generation biofuels that are worse for the climate than fossil fuels. Member states will be able to use a maximum 3.8% share of food-based biofuels in transport towards the Renewable Energy Directive’s target for 2030, barely reduced from the current 4.9% market share at EU level.
Backtracking on its commitment to promote the electrification of transport and a phaseout of food-based biofuels, the European Commission today proposed to keep supporting planet-wrecking biofuels until 2030 and not stimulate the uptake of clean electricity in transport. Moreover, the Commission is setting a target for advanced fuels 15 years in advance, without appropriate sustainability criteria, as if it hasn’t learned a lesson from mistakes with first generation biofuels.
In line with its Better Regulation agenda the Commission publishes roadmaps at the very beginning of the legislative process setting out its initial ideas for a legislative proposal. On 1 August 2016 the Commission published its roadmap for a Council Decision proposal authorising the Commission to negotiate a Convention to establish a multilateral court on investment.
A levy on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions with revenues earmarked to fund the uptake of NOx abatement measures is the most promising tool to reduce these ship emissions by up to 70%, a new study by environmental consultancy IVL and CE Delft reveals. The study, commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E), identifies for the first time the policy options available at the EU level to regulate ship NOx emissions in the EU seas and compares them with the measures to be taken under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). In addition to a NOx levy with a fund, the study identified two other EU-level policy tools: mandatory slow steaming of ships (with a levy and fund as an alternative compliance option) and a stand-alone levy on emitted NOx.
In March 2016, the states surrounding the Baltic Sea, North Sea and the English Channel agreed to apply for the designation of these seas as NOx Emission Control Areas (NECAs) under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). An 80% reduction of NOx emissions reduction will be required from new ships only when sailing in NECAs. Other EU seas are not affected.