1.1. Journalists and Scientists to discuss climate change at Global Media Forum
20 June 2010, Ghana News Agency
Accra, June 20, GNA – Journalists and Scientist will discuss at the 2010 Global Media Forum, "Covering Climate Change in West Africa" and find ways of collaborating to educate the people to appreciate the need to stem the looming danger.
The impact of global climate change on West Africa is already noticeable and although projections differ in detail, they agree in their general assessment of increasing weather extremes -longer droughts, shorter but heavier rainfall periods- and delay of the onset of the rains.
The Panellists would among other things find out whether West African media outlets report on climate change and its regional impact and if they do, whether the reports make use of Africa-based located science.
They would also examine how West African Scientists see their work being covered by their own local media and whether or not they think their opinions and contributions are appreciated.
The Panelists would include Boakye-Dankwa Boadi, Supervising Chief Editor of Ghana News Agency; Grace Davies, News Media Editor and Ms Anna Godfrey, Senior Research Operations Manager, both of the BBC World Service Trust, and Edward Klame Aklade, Mobile Reporter, Voices of Africa.
The Scientists would be made up of Wilson Agyei Agyare, Senior Lecturer, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology, Kumasi; Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, Lecturer, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast and Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of Water Resources Commission.
The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2010 to be held in Bonn Germany from June 21 – 23 under the theme "Climate Change; The Heat Is On", will address and assess the pivotal issues that have consigned the world to such a precarious state and seek a viable way out by looking at the role of the media at the international, national and local levels.
The Conference will bring together media users and producers; scientists; peace keeping and conflict prevention specialists; energy industry experts; policy makers as well as representatives from international, grassroots and non-governmental organizations.
They would discuss how to harmonize individual and collective action in order to steer the world away from a foreboding future and instead toward genuine sustainability.
1.2. Green NGO’s letter to van Rompuy: EU’s climate ambition a green way out of the crisis
16 June 2010, T&E
A group of NGOs, including T&E, has sent an open letter to EU president Herman van Rompuy, on the eve of the European Council on 17-18 June, pointing out how investing in a green economy could help the EU overcome the economic crisis.
"With stronger climate targets, European governments could create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs, according to a recent European Commission report", the letter reads. "Instead of wasting cash on foreign oil and gas, EU countries could save up to €40 billion by boosting renewables. Savings in pollution control and health costs would be worth between €6.5 billion and €11.5 billion".
2.1. EU leaders agree non-binding energy efficiency target
17 June 2010, Greenpeace
European leaders assembled in Brussels today for an EU summit agreed in principle to make Europe more energy efficient over the next decade. The leaders adopted a non-binding objective to make the EU energy system 20% more efficient under the so-called ‘Flagship Initiative Resource Efficient Europe’ of the EU 2020 strategy.
Reacting to the announcement, Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken said: “EU leaders agreed today that Europe needs to be smarter about energy and waste less. Energy efficiency will save money, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions, but this will only work if the EU adopts a binding target.”
In debates on budget consolidation, EU leaders however failed to consider the benefits linked to an upgrade of the EU 2020 carbon emission reduction targets from 20% to 30%. Den Blanken continued: “More ambition on climate would generate jobs and billions of euros that could help governments reduce mounting budget deficits. Upgrading the EU’s climate target to 30% would raise additional income of nearly €70 billion from carbon trading alone.”
For a breakdown of how much each EU member state could benefit from the carbon market under a higher climate target, go to www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/eu-unit/press-centre/policy-papers-briefings/euro-blues-a-green-way-out.pdf
2.2. Biofuels: ‘Recognised by the European Union’ … but what does it really mean?
17 June 2010, T&E
The Commission has published its guidance on the sustainability and certification of biofuels, which it hopes will stop the loss of credibility in the EU’s biofuels policy. But the new guidelines for the sustainability of biofuels production still do not take indirect land-use change into account, which experts and campaign groups say is the most crucial issue.
The guidelines, which were published earlier this month by the new energy commissioner Günther Oettinger, are aimed at showing that the label ‘Recognised by the European Union’ shows that the biofuel carrying the label is making a genuine contribution to reducing global warming. Oettinger wants biofuel production companies – both EU and non-EU – to apply to use the label by the end of this year.
The publication is an attempt at clarification of the sustainability criteria that accompany the EU’s Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Drectives. 10% of transport fuels are supposed to come from renewable sources, mostly biofuels, by 2020. But the production of some biofuels involves such side-effects that their overall impact is to increase greenhouse gas emissions compared with oil-derived petrol and diesel.
The new guidelines also rectify one earlier suggestion that palm oil plantations could be viewed as forests and therefore count as sustainable, a move criticised by Great Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark as well as by environmental NGOs. That has now been removed so forests and peatlands should not be cleared for biofuel crops, as this releases more carbon dioxide than is saved.
T&E policy officer Nusa Urbancic said, ‘These new guidelines don’t really take us any further, because they still don’t deal with indirect land-use change, which is the elephant in the room when it comes to the environmental impact of biofuels. Until the EU deals with this issue – and the Commission has to address it by the end of this year – any statements that biofuels are sustainable will be misleading, counterproductive, and destined for failure.’
The American scientist Tim Searchinger has published another article on indirect land-use change. Writing in the magazine ERL, Searchinger said the impact of ‘Iluc’ meant that only biofuels that absorb additional carbon could be beneficial from the point of view of using biofuels in combating climate change.
The Commission has until 4 July to respond to a legal challenge brought by T&E and three other NGOs. The action says the Commission broke its own access to information rules by refusing to release documents requested by T&E, which detail the impact of indirect land-use change, within the Commission’s own timeframe.
2.3. EU Economy can be boosted by green ambition
16 June 2010, WWF
Solutions to the economic downturn will be discussed during the Heads of State or Government meeting this Thursday, 17 June in Brussels. The agenda features economic and financial reforms, including a possible increase of Europe’s ambitions for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
‘EU leaders are under high pressure to find economic answers and suddenly a more ambitious climate target is up for discussion; however, this should not be surprising’, said Jason Anderson, head of EU climate and energy policy at WWF.
‘More ambitious climate policies would raise billions of Euros that could be reinvested into an economy of the future – a green economy. Heads of States should act on this now.’
Last week’s Environment Council paved the way with ministers calling for further analysis of an increased CO2 emissions reduction target and further consideration later this year. The upcoming Summit should now demonstrate leadership and boost the European economy by helping create the conditions for low-carbon investment through a deeper greenhouse gas target.
WWF insights into what is happening in European capitals:
UK Energy and Climate Secretary Chris Huhne, was among ministers calling for more ambitious emissions reduction targets at Friday’s Environment Council. Huhne called for the target to be increased to 30%, a move he believes is achievable – right for the climate and right for Europe. Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change, WWF-UK said: "David Cameron has promised that his new government will be ‘the greenest ever’. To deliver that promise, he must bring renewed momentum to EU climate policy – and particularly to increasing the ambition of EU targets to at least 30%. The Prime Minister should also show he means business at home by swiftly adopting the tougher target for emissions recommended by the UK’s Committee on Climate Change. Both of these moves are vital to kick-start the green economy."
France had sent out some mixed signals, with the minister for Economy, Christian Estrosi, calling off the 30% debate. However, at the Environment Council the minister for the Environment Jean-Louis Borloo stated that an increased target was both achievable and desirable. Borloo also said that other major economies had already taken steps comparable to a unilateral 30% EU target – this was the European Union’s condition in international talks for increasing the EU target.
Elise Buckle, Energy and Climate manager at WWF France says: ‘French President Nicolas Sarkozy must now confirm Borloo’s commitment and bring France back to speaking with one voice. We are expecting Sarkozy to deliver a strong pro 30% statement, showing that he will not break his word. A joint declaration from France and Germany in support of the 30% target would put the EU back on track in its leadership role in the climate debate.’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under much pressure – she will have to prove her leadership and determination as head of Europe’s biggest economy during this summit meeting.
Regine Günther, Director Climate and Energy Policy of WWF Germany, says: “Under Merkel´s leadership Germany has adopted an unconditional 40% reduction target. Now it’s time to bring the EU back into a leadership position by strengthening its target to at least 30%.” A 30% EU target would be in line with the German commitment. However, Germany has been unusually quiet on climate issues this year, except for German industry minister Rainer Bruederle, who recently contradicted the long-standing official German position. Merkel will have to put her industry minister back in his place by clearly re-affirming what she promised before. She should publicly call for an unconditional move to 30% for the European Union.
A surprise came from Sweden, with Swedish minister for the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, stating Friday at the Environment Council that he felt the EU was not ready for a 30% target.
Lasse Gustavsson, CEO of WWF Sweden says: ‘It is baffling that Sweden has a national, unconditional 40% target by 2020 whilst claiming that conditions are not there yet for the EU to go to 30% by 2020. It almost seems as if Sweden wanted to reap the benefits of green jobs and innovation as highlighted by the European Commission by setting a fairly ambitious target domestically whilst leaving the EU behind. The conditions are clearly already there for more ambitious action in Sweden as well as in the EU as a whole.’
Whilst Italian minister for the Environment, Stefania Prestigiacomo, continues to oppose all talk of a 30% EU-target; the Italian Industry Ministry Undersecretary, Stefano Saglia, said on 10 June that doors to 30% should not be closed, since an increased target could well be an opportunity for the industry worth discussing.
Mariagrazia Midulla, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF Italy, says: ‘It is interesting that this awareness reaches the Ministry of Economic Development first, even before the Ministry for the Environment. This fuels hope that Italy could give up its defensive attitude and finally elaborate a strategy on reducing emissions and starts looking at carbon free economy as a convenience.’
2.4. EU, U.S. clean energy support under threat: HSBC
21 June 2010, Reuters
New austerity measures threaten support for renewable energy but some cleantech stocks have been over-sold, HSBC analysts said on Monday.
Governments last year agreed a global stimulus to kick-start the global economy, including about $500 billion for clean energy and infrastructure, but rhetoric had shifted toward austerity ahead of this week’s G20 summit.
Renewable energy incentives were under threat especially in key demand markets, the United States and the European Union, despite long-term support for carbon curbs and energy security — rhetoric given new impetus by the BP Gulf oil spill.
"Regulatory risk is on the rise again and regulatory uncertainty has led to very poor wind and solar share price performance year to date," said the report, "Carbon default – real or imagined?."
Many low-carbon, renewable sources of electricity require government support to be competitive with fossil fuels, incentives now at risk especially where funded by public treasury rather than passed to consumers.
The BP oil spill may drive support for a U.S. clean energy bill, but the shape of that was unsure and time "rapidly running out" for passage before November mid-term elections.
The competitiveness of U.S. renewable energy faced an additional threat from low gas prices as a result of shale finds.
In Europe, the countries most at risk of support cuts were Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and especially for feed-in tariffs guaranteeing higher premiums for solar power, with retroactive cuts possible in Spain.
One result may be that countries met targets to cut carbon emissions and install renewable energy later than planned.
"Aggressive targets for clean energy are not being set, or where set, are not consistently being supported with effective planning and financing mechanisms," the report said.
Britain’s new coalition government, for example, announces on Tuesday a budget to wrestle with the country’s budget deficit, which is at nearly 11 percent of GDP.
The previous government made ambitious plans to install offshore wind farms but experts identified a funding gap of more than 100 billion pounds ($148.3 billion).
Wind and solar power stocks had been over-sold, however, the HSBC report argued, down on average 30 percent and 10 percent respectively in the past 12 months. Factors underpinning the sector included continuing cash from a "green" economic stimulus and falling costs which had made wind competitive in most parts of the world.
A recent halving or more of capital costs could make solar competitive without subsidies as early as this year in sunny parts of southern Europe and the United States.
2.5. EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in five years
21 June 2010, EurActiv
Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday.
The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources in 2020.
"I think some models starting in the next five years will bring some hundreds of megawatts to the European market," Oettinger told Reuters after a meeting with energy ministers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
He said those initial volumes would come from small pilot projects, but the amount of electricity would go up into the thousands of megawatts as projects including the €400 billion Desertec solar scheme come on stream.
"Desertec as a whole is a vision for the next 20 to 40 years with investment of hundreds of billions of euros," said Oettinger. "To integrate a bigger percentage of renewables, solar and wind, needs time."
The EU is backing the construction of new electricity cables, known as interconnectors, under the Mediterranean Sea to carry this renewable energy from North Africa to Europe.
Some environmental groups have warned these cables could be used instead to import non-renewable electricity from coal- and gas-fired power stations in north Africa.
"This is a good question but not a question to destroy our project," Oettinger said. "This question must be answered by a good answer and so we need ways to ensure that our import of electricity is from renewables."
He said he believed it was technologically possible to monitor electricity imports to the EU and establish if they come from renewable sources or fossil fuels. "This question must be solved in the next years," he said.
The Desertec consortium includes major firms such as Siemens, RWE and Deutsche Bank. They are expected to seek public money for the project.
Oettinger said the EU’s assistance was likely to include help coordinating stakeholders, updating regulations to allow the imported electricity to move across European borders, and financing feasibility studies.
On the prospect of EU subsidies, or the European Commission permitting state aid to firms involved in the project, he said that would become clear once the consortium has presented a detailed business plan.
Oettinger said all three energy ministers at the meeting in the Algerian capital sent a signal they were willing to build the infrastructure and common market rules needed to allow a trade in renewable electricity with Europe.
He countered concerns expressed in the past by some officials in Algeria that the project could involve Europeans exploiting north Africa’s natural resources.
"Renewables are a two-way partnership because electricity produced here is for the home market of north African countries," he said.
"Maybe a bigger percentage of the electricity will be exported to Europe but at the same time we have to export the technology, tools, machines, experts, and so it’s a real partnership, not only a partnership by selling and by buying."
2.6. EU states agree to close dirty coal plants by 2024
18 June 2010, Reuters
Old coal-fired power plants in Europe must be closed by the end of 2023 if their owners are not prepared to fit equipment to filter out acidifying pollutants, European Union member countries agreed on Friday.
All other power stations must start planning to cut out pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides that damage human health and soil and water quality.
“The UK government, together with other member states, has been able to secure significant additional flexibilities for large combustion plants,” a British government spokeswoman said.
Countries that are struggling to get the industry cleaned up can get a delay until June 30, 2020, under the informal deal on the Industrial Emissions Directive, which weaves together and updates six air quality laws with the old Large Combustion Plant Directive.
European ambassadors in Brussels approved the deal, which was reached in informal talks with the European Parliament late on Wednesday. It must be formally approved by parliament in the coming weeks before becoming law, but sources say that is almost certain.
The existing laws contain so many opt-outs that many of the 52,000 European installations have managed to avoid cleaning up acidifying pollutants.
The quest for new rules started over two years ago but has been slowed by a row between countries such as Britain and Poland, which have many old coal-fired plants, and others led by Germany that have already invested millions in cleaning up.
The rules, which have gone through several different permutations over the last few months, will have a huge impact on countries’ energy investment plans and how much money utilities can make by sweating their coal assets.
Britain argues that the flexibility will allow it to jump to the next generation of renewable power, without replacing old coal with gas power plants.
“This will ensure protection of the environment as well as paving the way for a smooth transition to low carbon power generation without jeopardising our security of supply,” said the UK government spokeswoman.
3.1. Europe losing sight of sustainable and green future
17 June 2010, FOEE
European leaders, meeting today in Brussels, are seriously jeopardising the European Union’s chances of averting catastrophic man made climate change, and tackling the economic crisis by delaying the crucial decision to unilaterally increase targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions. They are closing the door on innovation, green investment and up to a million new jobs warns Friends of the Earth Europe.
The unilateral increase to 30% emissions reductions by 2020, discussed in the European Commission report shelved today , would have been a step towards crucial domestic emission reductions of at least 40% by 2020. These reductions are both possible and necessary to give a chance of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees. 
Brook Riley, climate justice and energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe said: “This is a short-sighted reaction from European leaders. By putting short term financial and budgetary reform before higher emissions targets, the European Union is closing the door to innovation, green investment and up to a million new jobs. Emission cuts of at least 40% gives a chance of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees and is the key to a sustainable, green economy. This is another lost opportunity to tackle both the economic and climate crises, while the European Union needs to act now before the costs become too great.”
The decision to increase emission targets would allow the European Union to tackle the current economic crisis and incentivise green innovation. The European Union must resist industry lobbying if it is serious about a sustainable future. Divisions have already appeared between and within member states, as environment ministers run up against opposition to tougher CO2 targets from ministries of economics and industry, and heads of state. The Commission report has already been watered down by intensive industry lobbying in order to preserve windfall profits for national industries generated by free CO2 allocations under the Emissions Trading Scheme .
Brook Riley, climate justice and energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe said: “The European Union needs to listen to facts and not industry lobbyists if it is serious about tackling the economic and climate crises. By delaying the decision to increase climate change targets, the benefits for the European economy, green jobs, health and the environment could be lost. A decision to increase emission targets to at least 40% would give a clear political signal that investments in energy saving, renewable energy and green innovation will be rewarded, and give the European Union a decent chance of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees.”
3.2. Commission to revive EU carbon tax debate
21 June 2010, EurActiv
European commissioners will start talks on introducing minimum tax rates for carbon on Wednesday (23 June). But it is still unclear when and if Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta’s suggestions will develop into a formal proposal.
EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta has prioritised revising the Energy Taxation Directive, which would include an EU-wide minimum tax on the CO2 content of fuels. The idea is to bring taxation more in line with Europe’s environmental obligations.
During their Wednesday meeting, the commissioners will hold an "orientation debate" on an internal working document. Šemeta hopes to test the water to see whether he can proceed with a formal proposal, which is still being drafted.
The issue of taxation is sensitive, and the chances are that the proposal, if tabled, would result in years of in-fighting. The potential tabling of such proposals has been mooted since 2008, but Šemeta’s predecessor decided against the idea amid disagreement within the college of commissioners.
Member states, like the Nordic countries, support the proposal because they have been applying similar national carbon taxes since the 1990s. Others, such as the UK and Ireland, however, are against Brussels setting taxes.
A potential proposal would have to get the unanimous backing of every member state to become law as taxation requires unanimity. But the UK for one is determined to veto such legislation, as it would require a redesign of national energy legislation.
"The UK does not support the idea of a mandatory pan-EU carbon tax and hopes the Commission will not bring forward such a proposal," said a UK government spokesperson.
"We think instead that the focus of any legislative proposal should be on reviewing current minimum rates of taxation, especially in the road transport sector, where ‘tank tourism’ creates both single market and environmental problems, and undermines national tax bases," she added.
The Commission departments also appear divided, with some questioning whether now is the right time to introduce a measure that could potentially harm the competitiveness of European farmers and car manufacturers.
Plans to exempt energy products that fall under the EU’s emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) have also been criticised, as many carbon-trading industries get free allowances and would get away with neither paying for allowances nor paying tax.
3.3. Study shows vans can be more fuel efficient and cheaper
21 June 2010, T&E
New vans could be made up to 16% more fuel efficient and 10% cheaper to buy simply by reversing the upward trend in horsepower and using smaller engines according to new research.
The new findings come as the European Parliament’s Transport and Industry committees are set to vote on new fuel efficiency/CO2 standards for new vans on 22 and 24 June.
Much of the political debate over the new proposals has centered on the costs of advanced technologies needed to meet the new standards. But the study, carried out by consultants TNO and CE Delft on behalf of Transport & Environment, the sustainable transport campaigners, shows that the official impact assessment for the new legislation ignored the potential for ‘optimal engine sizing’ to cut emissions and actually bring down the costs of new vans.
Kerstin Meyer of Transport & Environment said: "It’s time to call an end to the van engine power arms race. This study shows that just by returning to the engine power of ten years ago, vans could be cheaper to buy, and much more fuel efficient. It’s a win win for the millions of businesses that depend on keeping costs down, especially in a crisis."
The study shows that ‘optimal engine sizing’, i.e. returning to engine power levels of 1997, can cut fuel costs and CO2 emissions by up to 16%, cut vehicle purchase costs by up to 10%, and cut total cost of ownership by up to 12%. Moreover, optimal engine sizing can be introduced quickly and in existing models.
The 175 g/km target proposed for 2016 by the Commission could be met using optimal engine sizing alone, and at the same time make vans cheaper to buy instead of more expensive.
In addition the long-term target of 135 g/km would be significantly easier to meet.
The European Commission’s impact assessment completely ignored this potential and is hence far too pessimistic about how far fuel consumption can be cut, at what speed, and at what cost.
The results of the study justify earlier and lower CO2 standards for vans than the European Commission proposes. T&E’s proposal is 160 g/km by 2015 and 125 g/km by 2020, as opposed to 175 g/km by 2016 and 135 g/km by 2020 proposed by the Commission.
3.4. Environmental evidence will be heard in aviation EU-ETS legal action
17 June 2010, T&E
A transatlantic coalition of environmental NGOs has been recognised as having sufficient expertise to be allowed to submit evidence to a court case in which three American airlines are claiming the EU’s decision to force aviation into the Emissions Trading Scheme is illegal
The recognition is part of a complicated case, which had its first hearing in London last month and now moves to Luxembourg.
The three airlines – United, Continental and American – plus the Air Transport Association of America have presented a legal action, claiming that the EU’s decision to involve US aircraft in EU emissions trading breaches international law and the EU/US Open Skies agreement. The Commission is contesting this.
Because the airlines would have to file their emissions data through the British authorities, they presented their legal action in Great Britain. .At a hearing in London last month, it was agreed that the matter would be passed to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, which will hear the case later this year or next year.
Opposing the case were T&E, two British-based environmental NGOs and three American NGOs. This coalition sought the right to ‘intervene’, a technical term denoting the ability to present expert evidence to the ECJ when the complaint comes to court.
T&E policy officer Bill Hemmings said, ‘This is a crucial case, because climate emissions from air transport are growing rapidly, yet the industry’s own policy of carbon-neutral growth is just a way of doing nothing for another decade. It’s therefore vital that the EU be allowed to take this small, tentative step towards charging aviation for its costs, and it’s important this spoiling action by the US airlines is not allowed to succeed.
‘The EU’s policy will only be given a fair hearing if the environmental argument is properly presented, which is why it is excellent news that rational environmental arguments will be heard by the ECJ through our coalition’s “intervener” status.’
3.5. Air ticket tax for Germany as government looks to balance budget
17 June 2010, T&E
The German government has announced it is to introduce a tax on international air tickets. The move would make it the fourth western European nation following France, Great Britain and Ireland to have an aviation ticket tax.
The news was somewhat buried in a package of measures announced by the German government, aimed at saving €80 billion by 2014. The package was presented as the biggest austerity package since the modern German state was founded in 1949. Other measures include a tax on nuclear power plant operators, and massive cuts in public spending.
Exact details of the air ticket tax are still difficult to find, but the governing CDU/CSU/FDP coalition is banking on earning €1bn per year from 2011, which means a levy of €15 on all passengers leaving German airports on international flights. Domestic tickets are exempt as Germany already charges value-added tax on flights within the country.
The ticket tax is intended to be differentiated according to various criteria, including price, noise and fuel consumption, with the details to be worked out by the transport, finance and environment ministries. The Free Democrats, who are the junior partners in the coalition, say the ticket tax is a temporary measure and will only be levied until aviation enters the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). But this is due to happen in 2012, the coalition is working on the basis of revenues for the period 2011-14, and an environment ministry spokesman later said the ticket tax would continue in parallel with the ETS.
T&E gave a cautious welcome to the move, and the progress it makes towards ending the VAT subsidy air tickets still enjoy. ‘Germany is playing catch-up,’ said T&E policy officer Bill Hemmings. ‘The British, French and Irish have all had ticket taxes for a while, to make up for the lack of VAT on international tickets. Other governments across Europe should be doing the same; it’s far smarter to close this loophole than to raise taxes on labour, for example.’
The German decision will facilitate similar moves by the new Dutch and Belgian governments. A Dutch air ticket tax was abandoned last year after strong lobbying by industry.
Hemmings added, ‘Although governments tend to promote ticket taxes for environmental reasons, they should primarily be seen as a step to roll back the VAT giveaway on air tickets. The industry has no reason to complain about being treated in exactly the same way as everybody else. We urgently need to level the playing field.’
T&E has consistently argued that aviation’s entry into the ETS in 2012 will only reduce aviation emissions by a few per cent, and that ending air travel’s exemptions from VAT and fuel taxation remains crucial. Even with ticket taxes, the aviation sector falls a long way short of paying for all its external costs.
3.6. Financial recovery to reignite transport demand growth
17 June 2010, T&E
A new study from the International Transport Forum reports a drop in transport demand and emissions during the global economic downturn, but says the long-term global trend continues to show growing demand for transport.
In Transport Outlook 2010, an annual study, the ITF says growing population, increasing urbanisation and higher incomes will boost demand for transport. It says air passenger transport is the fastest growing mode, with researchers taking a conservative estimate that volumes will triple by 2050.
The ITF is an intergovernmental think tank linked to the OECD. Presenting the findings to a meeting of ministers and transport experts in Leipzig last month, the researchers noted that a better-than-expected recovery would lead to revised projections that transport emissions across the globe will grow by about 40% between 2007 and 2030, compared with recorded growth of 45% between 1990 and 2007.
The survey calls for various measures, including demand management, to help in the fight against emissions, congestion and noise.
4.1. FINANCE MANAGER
Full time and working in the FoEE office in Brussels
Friends of the Earth campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment. It unites more than 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International. Please see www.foeeurope.org for more information.
This is an excellent opportunity to join one of the leading green NGOs in Brussels and to be part of a vibrant network of national member organisations.
Reporting to the Head of Operations you will be responsible for the reinforcement and building up of the Organisation’s financial capacities in support of the Campaigns, Programmes and Organisational Management.
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/job/finance_manager_June10.html
4.2. INTERN – ECONOMIC JUSTICE CAMPAIGN
Full time and working in the FoEE office in Brussels
Friends of the Earth campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment. It unites more than 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International. Please see www.foeeurope.org and http://www.foeeurope.org/corporates/Index.htm for more information.
This is an excellent opportunity to join one of the leading green NGOs in Brussels and to be part of a vibrant network of national member organisations.
As a part of this, the work of the economic justice team is multifold. It encompasses three main areas: extractive industries, corporate accountability and lobby transparency.
Reporting to the economic justice coordinator, you will be assisting and working alongside the other members of the team.
More at: http://www.foeeurope.org/job/EJ%20intern%20June%202010.html
5.1. Time to rescue the EU ETS
May 2010, Sandbag
More at: http://climnet.org/resources/member-publications/doc_download/1693-rescuing-the-eu-ets-sandbag-report-may-2010.html
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