Tech

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

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

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

‘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

Tech

Aviation

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’

Governments urged to attach green strings to long-term coronavirus recovery plans

UN says Paris climate agreement and sustainable development goals should guide recovery beyond massive stopgap measures needed to combat coronavirus

Putting the brakes on – Climate Weekly

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Coronavirus may toughen airlines’ goals for curbing emissions in 2020s

Coronavirus likely to lower a key 2019-20 baseline for average aviation emissions that will force more carbon offsets if flights rebound in 2020s

UK’s Heathrow airport expansion ruled unlawful over climate change

Three judges ruled the plans illegal because they failed to take into account the UK’s commitment to the Paris Agreement

EU emissions scheme excluded from UN aviation offsets

UN aviation body rules that the impact of flying will be minimised using a single market system, excluding Europe’s carbon market and placing EU members under pressure

Aviation’s black box: Non-disclosure agreements, closed doors and rising CO2

CHN investigation discovers “heavy handed” methods used to restrict access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation

Aviation

Shipping

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

Maersk aims for zero emissions vessels by 2030

Efficiency measures can only keep pollution standing still, not bring it down. But making clean shipping a commercial reality in a decade remains huge challenge

Shipping

Road

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

Los Angeles targets eradication of petrol cars by 2050

Mayor unveils plan aiming for 100% zero-emissions vehicles by 2050 amid sweeping climate package for the city

Carmakers on course for $2-12bn fines for missing EU CO2 targets: Moody’s

The ratings agency warns of possible credit downgrades, while the UK’s auto lobby says ‘anti-diesel’ agenda has made targets harder to reach

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