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But cars aren’t the only transportation whose fuel is being scrutinized. For the first time, cleaner airplane and cargo ship fuel will also be part of the rule book. Both will be compelled to increase the amount of cleaner fuel in their energy mix until hitting targets, and shipping companies will enter the new carbon market.
Why This Matters: Transportation emissions — including aviation and shipping — need to fall by 90% in order to hit the EU’s 2050 climate goals. Right now, the trend line for transportation emissions is rising, with domestic and international flights going up most sharply.
The shift in fuels is expected to make flights more expensive and therefore less desirable, encouraging cleaner transportation like trains.
While trains could definitely replace individual car journeys, companies like Volkswagen and Opel, have also already announced they won’t sell combustion engine cars by 2035.
Aviation and Shipping Also Lose Their Tax Break: Another update for planes and ships: no more minimum tax rates. The EU’s tax scheme for transportation fuel hasn’t been updated since 2003, and the current setup“de facto favours the consumption of fossil fuel,” says the European Commission.
The low rate and exemption loopholes added up to €40bn in 2016 alone. Instead, new proposals call for a tax structure grounded in environmental impact that would put the highest price on the most polluting fossil fuels.
Making Train Travel Luxurious Again: Train travel certainly comes out on top of the massive transportation update, and for good reason: “Burning carbon in airplanes is more than three times worse for the environment than burning it at ground level,” Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a professor of environmental sciences at the UCLouvain in Belgium, told DW. “Increasing taxes on kerosene for flying would be a good way to stop people flying when they could take a train.”
Midnight Trains is anticipating this shift: expected to launch in 2024, the luxurious overnight train service will run from Paris to destinations like Rome and Barcelona. This is no Amtrak service: we can’t get over the classy cocktail bar and hotel-style sleeping arrangements.
This week is Climate Week NYC, an annual event hosted by The Climate Group and the United Nations, in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York. For one week, from September 20-26, experts will be hosting panels and conversations about all things climate, and you can follow along at home via Facebook […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study titled, Flying blind: The glaring absence of climate risks in financial reporting, from Carbon Tracker and the Climate Accounting Project (CAP) showed that 107 global businesses that work in high-emissions fields like oil and gas firms, construction, car manufacturers, and aviation businesses, have not been transparent […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor New research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that without the world’s complex ecosystems and wildlife, human activity would have already pushed the global average temperature past 1.5 degrees Celsius. Findings from scientists working with Conservation International (CI) spotlight the role forests, oceans, and more […]
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