Transport

International air travel set for ‘aspirational’ 2050 net zero goal

The International Civil Aviation Organization has agreed a 2050 net zero emissions goal for aviation but its credibility is in doubt

UK government touts ‘guilt-free flying’ on country’s hottest day on record

The “jet zero” strategy relies on future technology breakthroughs and rejects options to curb demand

Dutch government issues world-first cap on flights from European hub

Schiphol airport, the third busiest in Europe, will be required to limit traffic to below its pre-pandemic peak, to reduce pollution

UN body makes ‘breakthrough’ on carbon price proposal for shipping

After a decade of talks, there is consensus at the International Maritime Organization to put a price on shipping emissions – the next question is how high

Nigerian airlines win jet fuel subsidy after shutdown threat

After domestic airlines threatened to ground their planes, the government agreed to cover some of their rising fuel costs

Turkey opens laboratory to grow algae for jet fuel, in EU-backed clean aviation push

Ministers hope Turkish Airlines will make its first biofuelled flight by the end of 2022, but experts are sceptical algae can make much of a dent in aviation emissions

A race for lithium is sparking fears of water shortages in northern Argentina

The salt flats of Catamarca hold rich resources for a green revolution, but the impact of mining on water sources has nearby communities worried

US spending on airport expansion flies under the radar for climate activists

Public funding of $25 billion to airports generated little controversy despite flying’s outsized climate impact, in contrast to the European discourse

UN shipping body agrees voluntary measures to cut black carbon in the Arctic

At the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting, countries urged ship operators to switch to cleaner fuels in Arctic waters

UN shipping body considers zero emissions goal, defers decision to 2023

While the US, Japan and Panama backed setting a zero carbon shipping goal for 2050, emerging economies said rich countries needed to go first and provide finance

Transport

Aviation

UK Supreme Court lifts ban on Heathrow airport third runway 

Heathrow still faces major obstacles to carry out its expansion plans, in light of the UK’s 2050 net zero target and uncertain future demand

EU urged to address aviation’s full climate impact, including non-CO2 emissions

Air travel is heating the climate at approximately three times the rate of the sector’s carbon dioxide emissions alone, report finds, with major policy implications

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

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

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

Aviation

Shipping

After Cop26, countries must turn climate promises into action on global shipping

A meeting of the IMO this week is the first test of translating promises made in Glasgow into bold action. The world must turn its gaze to shipping

Pacific islands call for zero carbon shipping by 2050, citing IPCC report

Three Pacific nations want to reopen talks on the long term climate target at the International Maritime Organization, urging higher ambition

Pacific islands make lonely case for carbon price on shipping

The Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands called for a price on shipping pollution at the UN body, but got only tepid support from European nations

It took the Suez Canal crisis to highlight the scale of the polluting shipping sector

The growing global shipping fleet is increasing the sector’s climate and environmental impacts. To rein it in, we need a global carbon price for shipping

How the shipping industry can halve climate-warming black carbon in the Arctic

Switching to cleaner shipping fuel would prevent Arctic warming and deliver an easy win for the climate

Mauritius oil spill: questions mount over ship fuel safety

More than six months after the Wakashio spilled fuel oil into a pristine lagoon, Mauritians are still waiting for answers and compensation

As UN action on ship emissions falls short, attention turns to regions

The International Maritime Organization set minimal curbs on shipping’s 1Gt carbon footprint this decade. Here’s how the EU, US and China could decarbonise the sector

UN shipping body approves Arctic heavy fuel oil ‘ban’, delayed for a decade

Campaigners describe ban as “meaningless”, as concessions to Russia allow most ships to continue using heavy fuel oil in the sensitive polar region until 2029

Shipping

Road

As Cop26 car pledge underwhelms, delegates ask: where are the bikes?

At transport day in Glasgow EVs were given centre stage, in what campaigners said was a missed opportunity to promote public transport and active travel

With Indonesia’s answer to Elon Musk in jail, electric vehicles are going nowhere

Electric vehicle pioneer Dasep Ahmadi was imprisoned over a failed experiment, with a chilling effect on innovation

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

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

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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

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