Putting EU green transport policy back on track
European countries are ramping up biofuel use in an effort to meet their obligations under EU objectives to decarbonise energy in the transport sector. But green transport targets for 2020 in the renewable energy directive (RED) and fuel quality directive (FQD) have largely served to incentivise damaging technologies, in particular unsustainable “land-based biofuels” .
The ICAO High Level Group in International Aviation and Climate Change, established last November to resolve political questions surrounding a global market based measure for international aviation emissions, also needs to agree an ICAO position on the geographic scope of any national or regional schemes such as the EU ETS. The three alternatives being considered are based on departing flights, nationality of carrier or a country’s airspace. Suggestions that an airspace approach would be appropriate are unrealistic and can't be serious. ICAO already recognised 5 years ago that the airspace option was impractical. These talks require a more responsible and disinterested approach and here we explain why.
A new study shows that the aviation industry will receive substantial additional windfall profits from the proposed ‘stopping of the clock’ for flights to and from Europe under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Airlines should not retain these windfall profits – that would be unjust, self-serving and a betrayal of passengers’ contributions to fight climate change - but give them to the UN’s Green Climate Fund established to assist developing countries tackle the impacts of climate change.
In the context of the EU's one year 'stop the clock' of the EU ETS in order for a global aviation emissions reduction framework to be implemented by ICAO, this factsheet compares the myths and realities of the United States of America's policy towards curbing international aviation emissions.
In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. In July, the Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target. The regulation takes account of the “utility” or purpose of the cars produced by different manufacturers whose targets therefore vary. In 2009, the EU agreed to account for the utility of the vehicles and set targets for individual manufacturers by comparing the average weight (mass) of the cars they produce. This was largely because data was not available on the average size (footprint) of registered cars until 2011. The Commission’s new proposal is to continue to use mass as a measure of utility until 2020 in order to minimize changes to the regulation.