This is T&E's report on why Europe’s obsession with diesel cars is bad for its economy, its drivers and the environment.
Flights to and from Europe have been automatically re-included in EU ETS since the start of 2017. In February the Commission proposed, in response to development at ICAO, to once more exempt these flights, this time indefinitely. The environment committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted its report on this file in July, and the full Parliament will vote on it on September 13th.
The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs, on average, €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not the full bill – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
A study by the respected Öko-Institut in Germany says Europe needs to slash its transport emissions by 94% by 2050. That's what it takes to avoid catastrophic 2 degree warming. Meanwhile, EU governments – particularly Italy and Poland – are trying to destroy the already inadequate target of -30% by 2030.
Aviation is a substantial and growing driver of climate change, currently responsible for almost 5% of global warming. The objectives of the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without action to rein in its emissions growth. This T&E briefing outlines how, at its triennial assembly, ICAO has an opportunity to adopt a global market-based measure which can be a starting point for greater global ambition. However, negotiations dominated by the need to protect industry and favour historic emitters is weakening the prospect of a credible deal.
This independent study, commissioned by T&E, finds that Europe risks seriously undermining its 2030 climate targets if, as industry argues, it implements a UN offsetting scheme for aviation in full and without reservations. The measure, known as CORSIA, risks creating a gap of 96.2Mtonnes CO2 – equivalent to Europe’s steel and iron emissions in 2015 – with the EU’s 2030 target due to its weak target and reliance on discredited offsetting. To avoid missing its target, other sectors will have to increase their climate ambition to compensate for aviation’s inaction.
European NGOs working on aviation climate policy (EuroICSA) today wrote to the European Commission as it prepares a response to rules circulated for the global offsetting scheme for international aviation, known as CORSIA.
The 2050 strategy being developed by the European Commission for the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) is of key importance to the future of European climate policy. The strategy's central aim is to guide European climate policy towards adhering to the Paris climate agreement, ie how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the economy to limit global temperature rises to well below 2ºC. In this paper T&E describes the model and reports on some of its technical limitations and proposes measures to ensure robust, trustworthy modelling.
T&E has obtained letters from six EU countries informing the UN aviation agency ICAO that they may pull out out of a global carbon offsetting scheme for aircraft emissions if its environmental safeguards are weakened any further. In separate letters, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Finland and Norway state that if sustainability rules governing the use of offsets and alternative fuels are watered down any more in negotiations, they will reconsider their participation. The letters are available to download here. T&E has also seen documents that suggest six other EU countries have similarly told ICAO that they will pull out of the scheme, known as CORSIA.
As the rule book for the Paris Agreement is finalised, T&E produces a paper which proposes the full inclusion of emissions from international shipping and aviation in national climate targets, known under the Paris Agreement as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). States should pursue decarbonisation of these sectors through a combination of measures adopted at international and national level.