France’s national Court of Auditors has been fiercely critical of the country’s government and MPs for allowing the French heavy goods ‘ecotax’ to be abandoned. The tax was first suggested as part of an exploration of environmental ideas in 2008 and approved by MPs in 2009, but in November it was abandoned after a series of protests. The Court of Auditors says that the decision was ‘a strategic failure’ and ‘a mess’ that will damage the public finances and the credibility of the country’s transport policy.
Director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, recently called on the EU to replace the current EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) for flights within Europe with the UN offsetting scheme, CORSIA. In a letter in response, T&E, Climate Action Network Europe and Carbon Market Watch state that such a move would constitute a substantial cut in Europe’s climate ambition, reducing the emissions reduction obligation on airlines operating in Europe by three quarters. It would also represent a weakening of Europe’s international climate commitment and a distortion of competition within Europe’s single market.
Just before a crucial vote by MEPs, associations of shippers and cargo owners have called on the European Parliament, Council and Commission to include shipping emissions in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) under a special fund. In two letters sent yesterday, the shipping industry’s customers backed the Parliament environment committee’s proposal to regulate the sector via a Maritime Climate Fund from 2023 “if IMO (the UN’s International Maritime Organisation) does not deliver a global measure to address shipping GHG emissions”.
In a plenary vote on 14 February, the European Parliament will adopt its position on reforms to Europe’s emissions trading system (EU ETS) for the 4th trading period (2021-2030). These reforms aim to fix major issues with EU ETS such as the need for tighter reduction caps and the oversupply of allowances which has depressed the carbon price.
The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), a group of NGOs with observer status at the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO), have heavily criticised comments by the head of the IMO warning the EU against taking action to address increasing GHG emissions from ships.
The Clean Shipping Coalition is surprised and disappointed by your letter to the president of the European Parliament (EP) criticising last month’s decision by the EP’s Environment Committee to include EU-related shipping emissions in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
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?’