Connect with us

Air quality

#CleanMobility - Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

In response to a ruling by the General Court, today the Commission proposes to reinsert certain aspects of Real Driving Emissions testing (RDE) into legislation to be adopted by the European Parliament and Council. 

The European Commission has been very active in promoting air quality, fighting climate change and supporting a shift to clean mobility. Actions include new and more reliable emissions tests in real driving conditions as well as an improved laboratory test. These efforts are already yielding results. New types of diesel vehicles tested both in the laboratory and on the road under real-world conditions and placed on the market since September 2017 emit significantly less than older types of diesel vehicles.

In December 2018, the General Court annulled some of the provisions of EU legislation on Real Driving Emissions testing. The Court judged that so-called “conformity factors” should not have been adopted via comitology procedure, but via ordinary legislative procedure. The annulment is of a partial nature and does not affect the actual RDE test procedure, which remains in force and must still be conducted at type-approval.

Advertisement

The Court delayed the effects of the partial annulment until February 2020 to give time to the Commission to implement the judgment. To avoid legal uncertainty on the type approvals granted since September 2017 – when the RDE test procedure became mandatory – the Commission proposes today to reinsert the same conformity factors into the legal text. The Commission is tabling the legal proposal via the ordinary legislative procedure, as requested by the General Court. The Commission thereby acts to ensure the necessary legal certainty for national authorities, industry and consumers.

Once adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the Regulation will be directly applicable in all Member States and will become mandatory 3 days after publication in the EU Official Journal.

Background

Advertisement

The legal framework for RDE was developed in comitology procedure, where the Commission makes a proposal to national experts, which may amend the proposal before voting. The text is then submitted to the European Parliament and Council for endorsement or rejection. This was the procedure followed for the adoption of RDE Act 2 (Regulation 2016/646), where the compromise found by member state experts on 28 October 2015 was subsequently endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council.

In December 2018, the General Court annulled some of the provisions of RDE Act 2, namely the so-called “conformity factors”. Conformity factors establish the allowed discrepancy between the regulatory emissions limit that is tested in laboratory conditions and the values of the RDE procedure when the car is driven by a real driver on a real road, with the aim to progressively reduce this discrepancy.

In its ruling, the General Court did not question the technical necessity of the conformity factors, but considered that the Commission exceeded its implementing powers when establishing the RDE conformity factors through comitology instead of co-decision legislation (= ordinary legislative procedure). The Commission lodged an appeal against the General Court judgement in February 2019 on the grounds that it disagrees with the Court's legal assessment that the Commission exceeded its implementing powers.

More information 

Air quality

Powering a climate-neutral economy: Commission sets out plans for the energy system of the future and clean hydrogen, and launches the #EuropeanCleanHydrogenAlliance

Published

on

To become climate-neutral by 2050, Europe needs to transform its energy system, which accounts for 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EU strategies for energy system integration and hydrogen, adopted today (8 July), will pave the way towards a more efficient and interconnected energy sector, driven by the twin goals of a cleaner planet and a stronger economy.

The two strategies present a new clean energy investment agenda, in line with the Commission’s Next Generation EU recovery package and the European Green Deal. The planned investments have the potential to stimulate the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. They create European jobs and boost our leadership and competitiveness in strategic industries, which are crucial to Europe’s resilience.

To help deliver on this Strategy, the Commission is launching today the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance with industry leaders, civil society, national and regional ministers and the European Investment Bank. The Alliance will build up an investment pipeline for scaled-up production and will support demand for clean hydrogen in the EU. The alliance will be built on the principles of cooperation, inclusiveness and transparency. The focus of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance is on renewable hydrogen, complemented during a transition period by low-carbon hydrogen with very ambitious CO2 emission reductions compared to fossil-based hydrogen.The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance launch event will be live streamed here at 16h00.

Advertisement

More information

Follow the press conference by Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Timmermans and Commissioner for Energy Simson live on EbS.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Air quality

50 airports now #CarbonNeutral in Europe

Published

on

Ahead of the COP25 due to kick off in Santiago de Chile next month, European airport trade body ACI EUROPE today gives an update on the progress airports have made to deliver on their commitment to reach 100 carbon neutral airports by 20301. This commitment is a major interim step towards their Net Zero by 2050 vision & pledge2 - which is part of the wider Sustainability Strategy for Airports3 launched last June by ACI EUROPE.

With the successful upgrade today of six Lapland Airports4 operated by Finavia (the Finnish airport operator) to Level 3+ Neutrality of the global CO2 management standard, Airport Carbon Accreditation, there are now 50 carbon neutral airports in Europe5.

ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec said: "Just 3 years after committing to 100 carbon neutral airports by 2030, the European airport industry is now halfway through to achieve that goal. The 50 airports that have become carbon neutral under Airport Carbon Accreditation welcome over one-fourth of the continent’s passenger traffic - with a mix of major hubs & smaller regional airports amongst them.”

Advertisement

Carbon neutrality currently represents the highest level of carbon management performance under Airport Carbon Accreditation. In order to reach it, airports need to reduce CO2 emissions from those sources under their control as much as possible, and compensate for the remaining residual emissions with investment in high-quality carbon offsets. Carbon neutral airports at Level 3+ of the Airport Carbon Accreditation have to provide evidence of undertaking all the actions required by the programme (mapping their emissions, reducing them and engaging operational stakeholders on the airport site to do the same), before investing in carbon offsets.

Jankovec added: "While the net zero concept does not allow for offsetting, reaching carbon neutrality first allows airports to grow towards more ambitious CO2 management & restrictions in a progressive way. With the commitment of the European airport industry to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions under their control by 2050 an absolute priority, Europe’s airports continue their steady pace to reach the goalposts between their current carbon management level and the ambitious objective ahead."

Niclas Svenningsen, who heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in Bonn, Germany commented: « We are delighted to see more and more airports in Europe achieving their hard-won carbon neutrality each year. We note that the momentum airports have created through their decade-long progress within Airport Carbon Accreditation has been further galvanized by the growing urgency to respond to the Climate Emergency. »

Advertisement

He added: « Europe’s airports continue to be an example to follow in the field of non-state action to address the climate emergency. While having their eyes on the big goal of reaching Net Zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050, they continue their incremental work to reduce their climate impact. This, is exactly the kind of industry leadership we need to address the daunting and unprecedented challenge that Climate Change represents.”

1View the pledge here.

2Learn more about the Net Zero by 2050 commitment here. 

3Download your copy of the ACI EUROPE Sustainability Strategy here.

4Lapland Airports: Enontekiö (ENF), Ivalo (IVL), Kemi-Tornio (KEM), Kittilä (KTT), Kuusamo (KAO) and Rovaniemi (RVN)

5Download the full list of carbon neutral airports here:
The full list of carbon neutral airports.pdf

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s total CO2 emissions account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure, airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%.

Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only global standard for carbon management at airports. Its aim is to encourage and enable airports to reduce their emissions. Within its framework, airports can become accredited at four progressively ambitious levels of accreditation: Mapping, Reduction, Optimization and Neutrality. 

It is independently administered, institutionally-endorsed and has already won praise from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the European Commission (EC).

Originally developed and launched by ACI EUROPE in June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation was extended to airports in Asia-Pacific, in November 2011 (in partnership with ACI Asia-Pacific) and to African airports in June 2013, (in partnership with ACI Africa), North American airports in September 2014 (in partnership with ACI-NA) and airports in Latin America & Caribbean in December 2014 (in partnership with ACI-LAC).

To find out which airports are certified & their level of certification, click here.

ACI EUROPE is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 45 European countries. Our members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe: 2.3 billion passengers, 21.2 million tonnes of freight and 25.7 million aircraft movements in 2018. In response to the Climate Emergency, in June 2019 our members committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions for operations under their control by 2050, without offsetting.

Continue Reading

Air quality

Clarkson calls eco warrior #GretaThunberg 'spoilt brat'

Published

on

Jeremy Clarkson (pictured) has weighed into eco-activist Greta Thunberg, calling her a “spoilt brat”.

Greta, 16, told the United Nations her childhood had been ruined by global changing.

Advertisement

She said: “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean.

“Yet you all come to us for hope.

“How dare you.

Advertisement

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

Clarkson said: “How dare you sail to America on a carbon fibre yacht that you didn’t build which cost £15million, that you didn’t earn, and which has a back-up diesel engine that you didn’t mention.

“We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet.

“We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all.

“So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat.”

He claimed science will solve the earth’s problem “not scowling and having screaming ab-dabs every five minutes”.

He concluded: “So be a good girl, shut up and let them get on with it.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending