The Board of sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has today announced William Todts as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Jos Dings, who this week leaves the position after 13 years.
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.
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?’
A year on from the Paris climate accord, the EU is putting its attention into mechanisms to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gases. The biggest of these climate laws, the so-called Effort-Sharing Regulation, is now under attack from a group of governments led by Italy and Poland. The push to halve the EU’s 2030 climate efforts comes as a new report says transport, buildings and agriculture emissions would need to be close to zero in 2050 to keep global warming below 2°C.
A total decarbonisation of the transport sector is possible. So says the findings of a 10-year German government-led project to find practical ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Spearheaded by the Öko-Institut, the ‘Renewbility’ project looked at solutions for all of Europe and its work was supported by German and Swiss-based research institutions but also by T&E’s German member VCD.
The European Commission have earmarked over €100 billion to spend on transport infrastructure in the current EU budget. The Commission also have committed to a 60% reduction in transport emissions before 2050. Meanwhile, transport emissions continue to rise across the continent. European countries have established national climate targets under both the Paris agreement and the ESR. If we are to meet such climate targets then investments will need to be made in order to succeed with our goals. Change goes where the money flows: if we are to decarbonise our transport sector then EU spending will need to play a larger role in ensuring that. Speakers:Branislav Urbanic (The European Court of Auditors)Martin Lange (Umweltbundesamt, The Germany Environment Agency)Stephane Ouaki (DG Move, European Commission)Pia Nieminen (European Investment Bank)Markus Trilling (CAN Europe)Sebastien Godinot (WWF)
The European Commission has proposed a mandatory Transparency Register aimed at allowing the public to know which decision-makers are meeting with which lobbyists. The proposal extends existing rules on declaring lobbying to MEPs and the Council of Ministers, but a leading anti-corruption NGO says the changes are ‘timid and cosmetic’.
Europe should trust its democratic processes in scrutinising the proposed Canada trade deal (CETA) and not try to scare governments and the European and national Parliaments into ratifying the EU agreement. That was the message of civil society groups in a letter to the European Commission’s director-general for trade, Jean-Luc Demarty, after he said the bloc’s trade policy will be “close to death” if it cannot ratify the deal.