Tech

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

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

German rail company gets credit rating boost in response to climate law

In European first, Deutsche Bahn’s credit rating shifted from AA- to AA after government hit carbon-intensive transport with levies

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

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

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

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

Tech

Aviation

Ban flying to UN climate talks? That’s a dangerous idea

After Greta Thunberg sailed to a UN meeting in New York, some called for all climate diplomats to do the same. That would only disadvantage the most vulnerable

Climate activists announce plan to ground Heathrow flights with drones

Extinction Rebellion splinter group said drones safely ground flights, but the airport called it “criminal” and “counterproductive”

Marseille airport expansion stalled on climate grounds

France’s environment authority asked the developers to show how increased flights can fit with the country’s 2050 net zero emissions target

Good climate strategy does not include airport expansion

Despite declarations of ‘climate emergency’, city-level strategies are turning a blind eye to aviation’s growing greenhouse gas emissions

Greta Thunberg to sail to New York climate summit in racing yacht

Swedish teen activist will cross the Atlantic in hurricane season by boat for a four-month tour of the Americas, rather than take a high-carbon flight

France announces tax on air travel in climate push

A proposed levy of €1.50-18 on each outbound flight comes as part of a climate strategy, with France pushing the EU to follow suit

EU ‘climate leaders’ plans found lacking

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

‘Fake news’: UN aviation body blocks online climate critics

The International Civil Aviation Organization is dismissing factual critiques and blocking accounts that raise concerns about the climate change impact of flying

Aviation

Shipping

Oil tanker investments at risk from climate action, report says

Strong action on climate change would shrink demand for vessels by a third, impacting investment decisions being made now, analysts say

‘Don’t fail your children’: youth demand climate action at UN shipping talks

School striker Noga Levy-Rapoport urged the International Maritime Organization to set speed limits at sea, for the sake of young and future generations

Climate advocates split over shipping speed limits

A go-slow at sea would cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions fast, but there are concerns it would delay a permanent shift to cleaner technology and fuels

Swedish shipping industry prepares to go fossil-free by 2045

Shipowners’ Association is calling for government incentives to help in the transition to climate-friendly vessels, to meet national climate goals

Australia leads push to open UN shipping talks to media

Greater transparency would curb industry dominance in the International Maritime Organization, say campaigners, but key countries are opposed

UN shipping body drags heels on carbon-cutting measures

The International Maritime Organization has set a target to halve shipping’s climate impact by 2050, but some countries are resisting early action

Marshall Islands commit to going carbon-neutral by 2050

First plan of its kind from an island nation says adopting new shipping technologies ‘could have ripple effects across the international sector’

UN shipping body mulls curbs on industry influence, citing climate concerns

The International Maritime Organization’s governing council has agreed to consider reforms, while documents show giving gifts for votes is standard practice

Shipping

Road

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

EU set to tighten rules on palm oil for biofuels

Indonesia and Malaysia say the EU measure will unfairly disadvantage their crops, while environmentalists worry it won’t be tough enough on deforestation

Electric cars will not stop rising oil demand, says energy agency chief

Trucks, petrochemicals and air travel driving global oil use, Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency says

Empty car shows and stalled solar as sanctions keep Iran dirty

Innovation flees after Trump reimposes sanctions, environmentalists and government say that puts the country on a dangerous path

Macron suspends fuel tax hike in face of ‘worst protests since 1968’

Diesel policy reversal will not stop disruption, said protest leaders, who “want the whole baguette”

Carmakers slam Spanish climate law as ‘excessive and rushed’

Manufacturers say ban on diesel and petrol cars is against EU neutrality principles, setting up battle to clean up Europe’s second-largest auto-industry

Spain, Europe’s second largest carmaker, plans combustion engine ban

Proposal put forward for country’s first climate law takes swipe at auto-industry, scraps fossil fuel subsidies and sets 2050 goal for 100% renewable power

Road

New Ideas

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

Norway’s electric car demand is outstripping supply – with lessons for the EU

Thousands of Norwegians are on waiting lists for electric cars, showing the success and limitations of policy incentives

France’s Macron pledges €700m to solar energy push

The French president announced extra finance to help developing countries adopt clean energy at the International Solar Alliance launch in New Delhi

New Ideas