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.
The move to effectively disqualify high-emitting biofuels – mainly food-based biodiesel such as palm oil or rapeseed – from use in Europe’s cars and trucks, proposed today by the lead MEP on biofuels policy reform, has been welcomed by green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). EU countries would, for the first time, have to account for the indirect land-use change (ILUC) emissions of biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive , according to the draft report for the European Parliament’s environment committee.
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.
Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes European Commission’s proposal today on smart road tolls and its commitment to zero-emission mobility. The Commission also reaffirmed its commitment to set stricter CO2 standards for cars, vans and, for the first time, trucks. These are moves in the right direction, but the real test of the EU’s intentions will be the ambition of the CO2 standards and whether it proposes a zero-emission vehicle mandate, the sustainable transport group said.
European climate and energy policies are built on the myth that all bioenergy - being a renewable energy source - is good for the climate and good for the environment. As the use of bioenergy in the EU is expected to more than double by 2020 compared to 2005, it’s becoming clear that bioenergy is not the clean dream we all hoped it would be. In some cases it can even increase CO2 emissions (compared to fossil fuels) and in numerous instances it threatens nature by putting additional pressure on already burdened agricultural land and forests.
MEPs today voted to increase the ambition of the EU’s most powerful climate law, the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). While the ESR still fails to meet the aims of the Paris agreement, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the European Parliament environment committee’s backing for a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and for closing some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
Fuel consumption of new trucks could be reduced by 33% in the 2020–2030 timeframe if manufacturers introduce proven fuel efficiency technologies, a new independent study by Ricardo Energy & Environment, a consultancy, has found. The improvements would be cost-effective for hauliers as virtually all of the fuel savings could be achieved within a payback time of less than three years, according to the researchers.
T&E has responded to the European Commission's Public Consultation on Passengers Rights in Multimodal Transport. Through-ticketing has been essential for the growth of aviation and connectivity in Europe. By contrast, national rail companies have largely avoided these types of agreements because of competitive reasons and accordingly the opportunity for cross border rail travel has suffered enormously. Rail companies should start sharing data to make through-ticketing possible for train travel.
This blog post was originally published on EurActivCarbon from all sectors in the EU’s emissions trading system decreased in 2016 with one exception: aviation. CO2 from flights within Europe grew 8%, according to figures released last week by the European Commission. Low-fares airlines drove this growth, with Ryanair, Wizz Air, Eurowings and Norwegian all registering double-digit increases in emissions. These airlines are now huge emitters with carbon footprints exceeding those of some small countries. For example, Ryanair’s flights within Europe emit more CO2 than Costa Rica or Cyprus.
When France goes to the polls, Europe holds its breath. France is essential to the European project and without it the EU in its current form cannot exist. And never were the stakes higher than in this election. Fortunately Macron won a resounding victory. France will not become the playground of the Russian-sponsored National Front. Europe will not fall apart.