EU lawmakers last night reached a deal that will continue to see international flights exempted from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme until 2023. ECR MEP Julie Girling was the European Parliament’s lead negotiator and has welcomed the agreement that will still see internal flights within the EU coming under the ETS and contributing more to emissions reductions on an annual basis. Mrs. Girling successfully proposed introducing a time limit for the exemption that will see it lapse on 31st December 2023. With the International Civil Aviation Authority due to introduce a global carbon offsetting scheme for the sector in 2021, the time limit will enable lawmakers to assess whether the global scheme makes an effective contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and amend the provisions of the ETS accordingly.
Energy security, transportation development, clean connectivity and financing opportunities come under the spotlight at this year’s edition of the Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), taking place on 18-19 October in Budapest.
There are many factors currently affecting the evolution of transport, including air quality concerns, decarbonisation, autonomous vehicles, advances in energy storage, population movement into urban areas, smart cities, the need for reverse logistics, online retailing and now the new Clean Growth Strategy. The fundamental question is whether this has made any difference to the original broad vision for the clean transport system, involving electric cars for personal use and short haul logistics, hydrogen or biomethane in heavy goods vehicles for longer trips, the complete electrification of railways and biofuels for aeroplanes.
Today the High Level Group (HLG) GEAR 2030 has issued its report on the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the automotive industry in the EU. The report offers recommendations on how the automotive industry can anticipate and adapt to current trends – thereby turning short to medium-term threats into long-term opportunities. The HLG consists of public and private sector representatives.
The agenda includes an item on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles.
The European Commission recently published a study on Urban Vehicle Access Regulations (UVAR) that aims to assist policy makers in their implementation. UVARs are measures that regulate vehicular access to urban infrastructure. Examples include congestion charging, low-emission zones (LEZ), and restrictions on certain types of vehicles.
The JRC’s annual forest fires report confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighbouring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions. Full article…
To reduce oil dependency, policy-makers should consider the benefits of using alternative energy fuels and their high potential to contribute to decarbonisation and reduce pollution. These advantages are key part of the ‘g-mobility’ concept – an approach that advocates for the use of gas in transport and opens the door to the much-needed sustainable mobility.
Update: Activity reports have been published.
On 13 October, the latest Copernicus Earth observation satellite was launched into space. Sentinel 5 Precursor – also known as Sentinel-5P – is the first Copernicus mission entirely dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. It will contribute to aviation safety through volcanic ash monitoring, warn of high levels of UV radiation, and provide data about climate change and ozone holes.
The Council adopted conclusions on the European Union priorities for the third meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) (Nairobi, 4-6 December 2017).
A summary of the consideration of the draft opinion is available.