In a final letter, sent ahead of the plenary vote on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) taking place in Strasbourg on 15 February, a number of civil society organisations call upon MEPs to reject the deal. The coalition of organisations, among them Transport & Environment, write that CETA is not in the interest of European citizens, but that they look forward to working towards a better and more sustainable trade agenda in the future.
Director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac (pictured), recently called on the EU to replace the current EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) for flights within Europe with the UN offsetting scheme, CORSIA. In a letter in response, T&E, Climate Action Network Europe and Carbon Market Watch state that such a move would constitute a substantial cut in Europe’s climate ambition, reducing the emissions reduction obligation on airlines operating in Europe by three quarters. It would also represent a weakening of Europe’s international climate commitment and a distortion of competition within Europe’s single market.
Aviation accounts for over 13% of Europe’s transport CO2 emissions and a far greater share of its climate impact – its non-CO2 effects can equal or exceed those of its CO2 effects. Globally, aviation emissions are expected to grow 300% by 2050 unless action is taken. This fast growth is partly fuelled by measures including highly preferential tax treatment, burgeoning direct subsidies, exceptional treatment in the EU ETS, and undue reliance on the industry-dominated UN agency ICAO to regulate emissions.
As the European Union discusses reform of its Renewable Energy Directive (RED), this position paper and factsheet outline why we need to move ahead to a world without food-based biofuels. In 2015 the share of renewables in transport was 6%, coming mainly from food-based biofuels. Crop-biodiesels are the largest contributor, and they have higher emissions than fossil diesel, hence increasing emissions. Food-based biofuels are not an efficient use of land; solar panels could deliver over 100 times more vehicle kilometre with the same area. The European Commission’s proposal on phasing out biofuels compared to a proper phase-out would lead to CO2 emissions on the scale of Netherlands annual emissions.
T&E has consistently denounced the flawed ISDS mechanism (investor- state- dispute settlement). One of the main concerns is that claims by foreign investors, or even threats of claims, could deter the EU or Member States from adopting measures to protect the environment. We therefore welcome that the Commission proposes to step away from private, ad-hoc arbitration and establish a multilateral investment court. However, T&E can only give its support to this initiative if our core concerns, most importantly the protection of the right to regulate, are duly addressed.