Efforts to position electrofuels as the great hope to decarbonise road transport received a blow with findings that the synthetic fuel is neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution for cars and trucks.
Electrofuels are neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution to decarbonise road transport, a new independent study has found. The study, conducted by consultancy Cerulogy for NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), concludes that e-fuels could supply a limited amount of aviation's growing energy needs but only if the electricity comes from new renewable sources with strict sustainability criteria. T&E said the EU must ensure only e-fuels produced from renewables, such as wind and solar, can be eligible under the advanced fuels target and that it should adopt measures to avoid double counting of renewable electricity under the Renewable Energy Directive.
Almost two years since the type approval reform was proposed, the European Parliament, member states and the European Commission are entering the final negotiations to agree the post-Dieselgate rules for approving cars. The third meeting is scheduled for 23 November and this briefing (in English and Spanish) summarises the key elements of a robust regulation that need to emerge from the discussions.
The ICSA submission on the CO2 standard for new aircraft agreed at the United Nations' ICAO CAEP (Committee on Aviation Environment Protection) meeting in February 2016.
Emails between Airbus and the European Commission show that, when drafting climate rules for new aircraft, Airbus was given special privileges in determining essential aspects of the EU’s position at the United Nations’ aviation body (ICAO). The result is a global aircraft standard which will do nothing to cut the sector’s soaring emissions and a regulatory process steeped in secrecy and corporate interests, entirely removed from the normal European democratic process. NGO Transport & Environment obtained the emails via an access to documents request, after Airbus and ICAO opposed the public disclosure of the emails. The correspondence was finally released after an 18-month appeal process.
Carbon offsets excluded under EU climate laws are being purchased by airports to help them achieve a voluntary target of ‘carbon neutrality’, it has emerged. Research conducted by T&E found that the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme has only vague guidelines on what types of offsets may be used and airports are not required to publicly disclose which offsets they purchase.
A push by ICAO and some of its members to set quantity and reduction targets for alternative aviation fuels such as biofuels, was rejected at a major conference convened by ICAO in Mexico City in October. 25 countries, many from Europe, refused to back the UN agency’s originally proposed ‘2050 Vision on Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ that included volume-based targets for 2025, 2040 and 2050. The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, of which T&E is a member, said the targets were selected based on poor analysis, and grossly overestimated the environmental benefits and potential emissions reductions.
Flights to and from Europe are set to be excluded from the EU emissions trading system (ETS) until the end of 2023 after a provisional agreement was reached between MEPs, governments and the European Commission. Meanwhile, for the first time there will be a cap on European aviation emissions, which would be progressively reduced from 2021. T&E said that this is very important since the question now shifts from ‘if’ to ‘how’ aviation decarbonises.
Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) is a CO2 emissions reduction programme for airports managed by industry association Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe). It encourages airports to monitor and either reduce or offset their emissions. Our analysis finds that, while encouraging emission reductions and aiming towards carbon neutrality at airports in Europe is important and welcome, the ACA lacks transparency and the strict rules that are required to ensure offsets credits used actually deliver emission reductions. In many cases, airports are using offset credits which are ineligible under EU climate laws due to concerns as to their environmental integrity.
In this letter, T&E, France Nature Environnement and the UECNA (Union Européenne Contre les Nuisances Aériennes) write to France's Minister for Transport, Élisabeth Borne, about the ongoing trilogue negotiations on revisions to the basic regulation of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).