“What a day! More tomorrow. Goodnight and goodbye #EU2050”. EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete was obviously very pleased about the announcement he made last Wednesday. Under his stewardship the Commission proposed a plan that would see the EU almost entirely cut its carbon emissions in the next 30 years. It is a bold plan which broadly sets the right direction for the EU economy and its climate, energy and transport policy for decades to come (although the plan is way too optimistic about bioenergy).
Decarbonising the global economy requires all the world’s major economies to join forces and move in the same direction. That makes fighting climate change the largest cooperative effort humankind has ever embarked on and also explains why the Paris agreement was such an important achievement. But at the same time it is clear international agreements are only one part of the climate puzzle. And that’s actually a good thing.
This blog was originally published as an opinion article by EurActiv
The European Commission made its proposal in to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles (HDVs) such as trucks and buses in mid-May. The file is currently being debated by the European Parliament and Council, and MEPs are set to vote on it next week. It’s an important piece of legislation: HDVs account for 26% of road transport emissions in the EU and, as leading companies point out, these emissions can cost-effectively be reduced by at least 20% with technologies that are available today or will soon be.
It is nearly 200 years (1824) since French physicist Joseph Fourier first describes the Earth's natural 'greenhouse effect'.
The battle over the type of cars we will drive in 2030 is heating up and so are the claims and counterclaims about the impact on jobs. This week the European Parliament voted for a 40% reduction in new car CO2 emissions between 2020/1 and 2030 much more than the 30% proposed by the European Commission. Parliament also introduced real world checks to stop the industry gaming laboratory tests.
Most regulatory fights on vehicle emission regulations ultimately boil down to one iconic number battle. A few technical disputes get less attention but have a much bigger impact on the stringency of the new rules than a few percent up or down on the headline target. The ongoing discussions over car and van CO2 regulations for 2030 follow this pattern.
What scientists have been predicting for decades is now happening: the planet is getting hotter. This summer temperatures around the world were well above the average. In Europe temperature records were broken. What makes this extra scary is that this is only the beginning.
This blog was first published by EurActiv
By Stef Cornelis and Thomas Earl
Last spring Daimler/Mercedes, the world’s number one truckmaker, was caught with its pants down by the Deutsche Post DHL Group. During a testing day organised by DP-DHL, which was presenting its self-developed electric van, the StreetScooter, one of its vehicles being trialled by potential customers went way outside the test drive area, with its GPS showing it was en route to Stuttgart.
Coal or oil. That was the question facing ‘a young man in a hurry’ who had just been put in charge of the British navy. A century ago coal-powered steamships were the proven technology. On the other hand, there was a new technology: the internal combustion engine (ICE). Proponents of the ICE said it would be faster, healthier for the crew and operated by far fewer people which made it a lot cheaper to run. Of course it wasn’t a 100% proven technology. It was new. Would it always work? And would there be enough oil?
Greg Archer & Julia Poliscanova of Transport & Environment (T&E), first published in EurActiv.
There is a long history of bruising Brussels battles between left & right, or NGO’s & industry, over car emissions rules with millions of tonnes of emissions savings and billions of euros in investment at stake. The co-decision for the Commission's proposal for post 2020 car and van CO2 targets is shaping up to be another epic fight and a flick through MEPs amendments show strong divisions both between and within political groups. Member states are equally divided with Germany sitting on the fence and new, less corporate friendly, Governments in Spain and Italy expected to change the complexion of the Council debate.
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