President Obama Adresses Climate Change: Signs Bill Exempting US Airlines From EU Carbon Tax.

Plane flying over Heathrow Airport.The US had a opportunity to take action and lead non-EU countries on the issue of climate change and we did – by going in the opposite direction. The Guardian posted “Obama fails first climate test by rejecting EU aviation carbon regime” about President Obama’s decision to sign into a law a bill exempting US airlines from paying into a European Union carbon tax. It’s part of the EU’s effort to create an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that would assess a tax on flights to Europe that originate in the US. The tax would’ve cost US airlines $3.1 billion by 2020. President Obama claims that addressing climate change is a priority of his second term but it sure feels like getting a member of his own party elected in 2016 is taking precedent. Global Warming 1, Climate Action 0. [The Guardian]

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Are We Being Dongs Again? The US, China And 24 Other Countries Refuse To Comply With European Union Airline Pollution Control Plan

airline emissionsThis is one of those posts where the title almost says it all. Here’s some info to help fill in a the gaps:

  • The European Union (EU) wants to address the issue of reducing airline emissions and greenhouse gases immediately.
  • The EU created a plan.
  • The US, China and 24 other nations don’t like the plan.
  • The US, China and 24 other nations want to work with the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to create a plan.
  • The EU thinks the US, China and 24 other nations are dragging their feet by waiting for ICAO to develop a plan.
  • The US House of Representatives passed a bill telling US airlines that they don’t have to abide by the EU plan.

Jubbling wishes we were on a plan. [NYTimes.com]

Related article: A clear and fair incentive to pollute less

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European Union Proposes Speed Limiters For White Van Man

This article originally appeared at BusinessGreen.com, and is reprinted with permission.

May 4, 2010 – BusinessGreen.com Staff, BusinessGreen.com – New strategy aims to cut emissions from vans and light trucks.

Very interesting idea out of Europe that will save fuel, reduce carbon emissions and increase highway safety. It would be tough to get this to fly in the US but it’s something to think about.

White VanThe European Union is actively considering imposing mandatory speed limiters on vans and light trucks in an effort to curb carbon emissions from the vehicles, according to a draft report leaked to news agency Reuters.

The draft report sets out the European Parliament’s position on new rules designed to reduce emissions from vans and features a range of proposals, including plans to automatically limit vans and light trucks to speeds of 120km per hour (74.6mph).

“One … way to tackle the problem would be to have mandatory speed limiters for light commercial vehicles,” says the document, which has been seen by Reuters.

In an attempt to head off the likely protests from haulage firms and van operators, the report defends the proposal insisting that it is a safe and cost-effective way of cutting emissions and improving fuel efficiency.

“These vehicles are almost exclusively used for commercial purposes and do not need to exceed 120 km per hour,” the report states. “The technology is available to do this; it is a cheap and effective way of immediately lowering emissions and many commercial organisations retro-fit them to their vehicles.”

The proposals will contribute to the latest round of negotiations between the European Parliament and European Commission on new rules for governing emissions from vans and light trucks.

In an echo of the long-running row that preempted the introduction of mandatory emission standards for cars last year, the Commission and Parliament appear divided on the level at which to impose emission standards on vans and, according to the document seen by Reuters, the Parliament is moving to water down the Commission’s original proposals.

The Commission had said that it wants manufacturers to cut average emissions from vans and light trucks by almost a third on 2007 levels to 135 grams per km by 2020. But the parliament report recommends a less demanding target of 150 g rams per km, while also proposing that the financial penalties imposed on those manufacturers that breach the standard are reduced.

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