The Dutch Government recently issued a decree on new traffic distribution rules for Lelystad which was also the subject of a consultation by the European Commission. T&E’s response to the consultation examines the various issues and notes that proper taxation of flights in the Netherlands would resolve capacity issues, reduce aircraft noise and CO2, and obviate the need to open Lelystad airport or raise the movements cap at Schiphol.
Three years after Paris and over a year after agreeing a 2050 decarbonisation objective, European campaign groups Transport & Environment and Seas at Risk, leading members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, are appalled at the complete lack of ambition shown by the IMO this week.
Taxing aviation kerosene sold in Europe  would cut aviation emissions by 11% (16.4 million tonnes of CO2) and have no net impact on jobs or the economy as a whole while raising almost €27 billion in revenues every year, a leaked report for the European Commission shows. The reduction in carbon emissions, which cause climate breakdown, would be equivalent to removing almost almost 8 million cars from our roads. European campaign group Transport & Environment said the study, finalised last year but yet to be made public, debunks the industry’s myth that the economy would be irreparably damaged if airlines were required to pay excise duty on the fuel they burn.
The European Commission funded a study on aviation taxation, which was completed in mid-2018 but never published. It finds that Europe is chronically undertaxing the sector in comparison to other major markets. It further finds that increasing aviation taxation could cut emissions while having no net impact on jobs or GDP. T&E's briefing paper analyses these findings.
In two weeks Europeans go to the polls to elect a new European Parliament and, indirectly, a new European Commission president. It’s a vote that matters hugely for the environment. But before we look ahead, it’s useful to assess the Juncker Commission. So what did Jean-Claude Juncker and his team do well, and what could the next Commission do better?
Efforts to reduce the environmental impact of shipping should begin with mandatory speed restrictions for all commercial ships. That is the message from more than 100 maritime companies and nine NGOs, which have written to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) calling for it to regulate speed speeds.
Europe’s first greenhouse gas emissions limits for heavy vehicles are set to come into force after MEPs and EU governments completed the legislative process for a new regulation. The regulation will cut CO2 emissions from trucks by 30% by 2030, saving hauliers an estimated €60,000 per truck in the first five years through lower fuel consumption. T&E said the legislation ‘kick-starts road haulage’s shift away from fossil-fuel technology’.
Recently the gas sector has been playing up the role of or renewable gas in decarbonising the European Economy. The industry says biogas, biomethane, renewable hydrogen and renewable methane – supported through policy – can help bring about a decarbonised economy. This lobby offensive is gaining some traction, with the Romanian presidency and 17 other EU countries launching a declaration claiming gas networks are needed “to accommodate increasing shares of near-zero carbon hydrogen and renewable gases”. Amongst all that talk of “green gas”, one question beckons: have people been paying attention to the biofuels debacle at all?
T&E has joined forces with environmental NGOs in Spain to warn that a high-profile exercise in cleaning up shipping risks locking in fossil fuels for decades to come. The port of Barcelona has committed to investing in infrastructure to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to ships, and last month it celebrated the arrival of its first gas-powered cruise ship as a breakthrough for sustainable tourism. However, a T&E member described it as ‘greenwashing’.