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Radically cleaner air travel possible but governments need to act now – NGO

Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming and its rapid growth puts it on track to consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. There is a way to avoid this outcome but we need to act fast, a green transport NGO has said. By driving out the use of fossil kerosene fuel through carbon pricing and requiring aircraft to switch to synthetic fuels, the climate impact of flying can be reduced dramatically, according to a new report by Transport & Environment (T&E).

Published on October 22, 2018 - 06:00

Enrico Letta, Pascal Lamy and Hans Eichel urge European leaders to use a green tax shift to fix the EU budget

The EU should fill its post-Brexit budget gap with new revenues from taxing transport, which is Europe’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, ex-WTO head Pascal Lamy, former finance minister of Germany Hans Eichel and 14 other economists have told EU leaders. In advocating a green tax shift, they called for a higher minimum tax on road diesel, VAT on airline tickets for the first time and taxing aviation kerosene which is currently exempt. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment welcomed the letter, citing its own analysis that such a green tax shift would generate additional revenues of more than €50 billion a year which would allow for the income tax burden to be reduced.

Published on February 22, 2018 - 11:52

EU Commission surrenders to United Nations’ ICAO on aviation biofuels

The European Commission and EU member states look set to agree to almost entirely remove sustainability criteria for bio jet fuel at the UN’s aviation agency (ICAO) Council meeting today in Montreal. The countries gathered at the ICAO meeting will trash ten sustainability points out of 12, which will mean that highly unsustainable biofuels would qualify for the aviation’s global carbon offsetting scheme dubbed CORSIA.

Published on November 10, 2017 - 14:10

Airports’ climate programme relies on offsets excluded under EU laws

Airports are relying on offsets excluded under EU climate laws to help achieve their voluntary target of ‘carbon neutrality’, research conducted by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has found. Airports’ efforts to reduce their emissions are welcome, but T&E said it is concerning that airports have been found using offset project types which are highly unlikely to deliver promised emission reductions and which would not qualify for the EU’s emissions trading system (EU ETS). The claims of carbon neutrality therefore cannot be credibly maintained without serious reforms to this programme.

Published on October 27, 2017 - 07:00

Countries reject plan for aviation biofuels targets

Today, 25 countries convened by the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rightly rejected the  2050 Vision on Sustainable Aviation Fuels that included volume-based targets as originally proposed by the ICAO Secretariat. Brad Schallert, Deputy Director at World Wildlife Fund and a spokesperson for the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, a network of nonprofit organizations representing millions of members, released the following statement in response.

Published on October 14, 2017 - 00:00

‘Don’t trash the rainforest for “green” jet fuel!’, 172,000 citizens urge UN aviation agency

Several environmental groups today handed over a citizens’ petition to the United Nations’ aviation body, ICAO, urging the agency to scrap its plan for the vast use of biofuels in planes. The petition, signed by 172,000 citizens across the globe and coordinated by the conservation group Rainforest Rescue, states that using biofuels on a large scale will inevitably accelerate palm oil expansion, triggering massive deforestation and a surge on greenhouse gas emissions. The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) will discuss the biofuels plan today at its Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Mexico City.

Published on October 11, 2017 - 07:01

Almost 100 organisations worldwide condemn UN aviation agency’s biofuel plans

Environmental and development organisations from five continents have today written to the UN’s aviation agency (ICAO) condemning a proposal for large-scale use of biofuels in planes. The letter signed by 96 NGOs states that using biofuels on a vast scale will inevitably lead to further palm oil expansion [1], which will cause more deforestation, increasing climate-changing emissions, and more landgrabbing and land and human rights abuses. The proposals will be discussed this week (October 11-13) by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) at its Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Mexico City.

Published on October 10, 2017 - 06:01

MEPs place limits on aviation ETS exemption and put airlines on emissions reduction path

MEPs voted today to limit the exemption from the EU ETS of flights to and from Europe until 2021, pending further information regarding the UN aviation body ICAO’s global offsetting measure known as ‘CORSIA’. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes this vote as essential to safeguarding European climate goals. MEPs also endorsed a number of reforms to aviation’s inclusion in Europe’s emissions trading scheme which will start to cut back on the sector’s special treatment on climate policy.

Published on September 13, 2017 - 12:44

EU’s ‘imperfect’ emissions trading system still outperforms draft UN aviation deal – report

Despite being in need of reform, the EU’s aviation ETS is functioning, is being complied with, and has the potential to deliver real emissions reductions, a new analysis shows. Its key design features – emissions allowances instead of offsets, being binding instead of voluntary, and full instead of partial coverage of emissions – are all superior to the draft global deal under negotiation at the UN’s aviation agency ICAO. Europe is under pressure to dismantle its regional measure even though discussions on a global measure at ICAO remain fractious.

Published on September 20, 2016 - 11:53

EU to hold off joining UN aircraft CO2 scheme

Today’s proposal that EU member states hold off on signing up to a UN carbon offsetting scheme for aviation protects the EU’s aviation climate legislation and gives the EU time to fully evaluate the scheme before taking a final decision by 2020, as required by EU law, European NGO federation Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. Journalists were briefed this afternoon on the European Commission proposal for a Council position.

Published on November 5, 2018 - 15:40

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