Tech

Ships to get free pass on emissions until 2030, under compromise proposal

Ship efficiency measures backed by a broad coalition of 14 countries will fail to reduce emissions in line with industry and Paris climate goals, campaigners warn

UK Supreme Court hears climate case on Heathrow airport expansion

Heathrow Airport is challenging a ruling that quashed plans to build a third runway earlier this year, based on the UK commitment to the Paris Agreement

UK Climate Assembly calls for frequent flyer levy, private jet ban

A group of 108 citizens tasked with finding fair and socially acceptable ways to decarbonise the British economy by 2050 proposed curbs on jetsetting

Loopholes in Arctic heavy fuel oil ban defer action to the end of the decade

In concessions to Russia, the International Maritime Organisation has watered down draft rules to protect the Arctic from oil spills and black carbon pollution

Mauritius oil spill compensation could be limited by maritime law technicality

Experts warn payouts for an oil spill that has devastated Mauritius’ fishing and tourism industries may not match the scale of the damage

Major ship emissions study flags a bigger role for governments

Some 30% of ship emissions come from domestic voyages, researchers find, urging governments to tackle the sector in national climate plans

Air travel to bounce back faster in domestic markets, industry forecasts

A projected recovery in domestic air travel to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 puts the spotlight on emissions from major markets like the US and China

European battery gigafactories boom despite Covid slowdown

The region is on schedule to meet rising demand for electric vehicles, with five major battery factories in operation and at least 11 more expected by 2030

Tech

Aviation

Airlines’ climate obligations postponed as UN body endorses industry proposal

A handful of countries on the council of the International Civil Aviation Organization agreed to change the rules to reduce the sector’s carbon costs

‘Final blow’ to aviation climate plan as EU agrees to weaken rules

EU member states will back an industry proposal to reduce airlines’ climate obligations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, at the UN aviation forum

Airlines could get free pass on climate for five years under industry proposal

The industry is lobbying to rewrite the rules of a UN aviation pact, in a move researchers say would remove pressure to invest in clean flying technology

Five ways for governments to green airline bailouts

The pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of airlines to disruption, forcing a reboot of the sector. This is what a green recovery for aviation would look like

German environment minister defends airline bailout, promises green recovery

The immediate priority is to protect workers, argued Svenja Schulze, resisting calls to impose green conditions on a €10 billion support package for Lufthansa

Coronavirus: which governments are bailing out big polluters?

A round-up of the support countries are extending to aviation, coal, oil and gas businesses as demand is hit by the Covid-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: plane-free skies spur research into warming impact of aviation

As the Covid-19 pandemic response hits air traffic, scientists seize the opportunity to study how planes’ contrails trap heat in the atmosphere

Airlines urge UN body to ease climate goals for 2020s as traffic collapses

Airlines’ trade association says current plans to offset greenhouse gas emissions from a 2019-2020 baseline would put an ‘inappropriate economic burden on the sector’

Aviation

Shipping

Putting the brakes on – Climate Weekly

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Coronavirus: IMO postpones key meeting on reducing shipping emissions

The international shipping body has postponed five meetings due to take place at its London headquarters

Shipping could raise ambition of 2030 climate target, study shows

Research also shows that a Japanese proposal to cut CO2 by installing engine power limitation devices on ships would not deliver meaningful emissions reduction

Coronavirus side effect – Climate Weekly

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IMO under pressure to regulate new ship fuels over Arctic warming

New marine fuels introduced at the start of January could lead to an increase of the shipping sector’s climate impacts

Is the shipping industry’s R&D climate fund a Trojan Horse?

A proposed $500 million annual fund for climate innovation in shipping is welcome, but falls far short of a strategy to cut rising emissions

Today, shipping is taking responsibility for our role in the climate crisis

Our proposal would create a $5 billion innovation fund to eventually bring about the full decarbonisation of the global shipping industry

Economic opportunity should see US get on board with shipping clean-up

Shipping is finally playing catch-up on air pollution standards, but the US is slow-balling attempts to agree cleaner targets

Shipping

Road

Norway sets electric car record as battery autos least dented by Covid-19 crisis

Electric car sales worldwide are suffering less from the Covid-19 crisis than petrol and diesel rivals, in sign of hope for a shift to cleaner transport

It will take more than a few cycle lanes to make green, pandemic-proof cities

The coronavirus lockdown gave a glimpse of what cleaner cities can look like, but as people turn to private cars for safety from infection, pollution could soar

Green bailouts? – Climate Weekly

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Electric cars help limit climate change despite blackspots in India, Poland

Study shows it makes sense to drive an electric car in most of the world including in China and the US rather than stick to petrol, diesel engines

Former German vice chancellor Gabriel tipped to head car industry lobby

Gabriel’s appointment would further strengthen the close ties between Germany’s political class and the automobile sector

France systematically breached air pollution limits, EU court rules

Country must rapidly comply with EU limits on nitrogen dioxide or face fines, in ruling that will pile pressure on other underachievers

Rocks in the gearbox: German anti-car protesters target industry for disruption

Police are investigating after a group claimed responsibility for vandalising 40 luxury cars near Frankfurt, while the industry braces for further actions

EU ‘climate leaders’ plans found lacking

Finland, Sweden, Portugal, France and Germany praised for ambitious targets, but NGO analysis raises questions over details

Road

New Ideas

Addis Ababa riverside project gives priority to development over residents

Ethiopia wants $900 million riverside project to be a model of green development – yet one resident says shelters were demolished ‘without warning’

One million solar panels! If only we knew where they were…

Pinpointing solar panels and knowing exactly where the sun is shining can cut carbon emissions by reducing the need to keep fossil-fueled generators on standby

Cleantech patent applications plummet, sparking fears for innovation

The number of carbon-cutting inventions filed globally has plummeted this decade, despite growing awareness of the urgency of climate action

Switzerland puts geoengineering governance on UN environment agenda

No longer the preserve of science fiction, climate-hacking technologies may need international oversight, say backers of draft resolution

EU should target carbon dioxide removal as part of net-zero emissions strategy

Only an ambitious policy, backed by technologies that remove carbon from the air, can bring the EU in line with the Paris Agreement temperature goals

Elon Musk’s disaster capitalism

The entreprenuer has made a habit of intervening in crises, particularly climate-related ones, but it’s a high wire act

‘We have brought swallows into Milan’, says father of the vertical forest

Stefano Boeri dreamed up the idea of a living building from a childhood story, now he is exporting them around the world

Europe’s coming gigafactory boom, mapped

Across Europe a wave of gigafactories are coming online, ready to meet the battery demands of a continent-wide switch to electric cars

New Ideas