Greening the Airline Industry

The airline sector is trying to lessen its carbon footprint. In mid-June, the Paris Air Show will host the COP21 seen from the sky conference. Boeing and Airbus are concentrating their commercial efforts on the environment, which is now a selling point. “CO2 affects our ability to grow," said Jonathon Counsell, Head of Environment for British Airways, during a day dedicated to the environment organised by Airbus at its Toulouse site. Airlines make up 2% of worldwide CO2 emissions. But the doubling of passengers every 15 years has made it a growing source of greenhouse gases. 

European Union moves closer to banning cadmium in TV's

The European Parliament voted last week to re-assess the use of cadmium in TV sets sold across Europe, saying safer alternatives to the toxic and carcinogenic substance were now widely available.Cadmium is widely used in illumination and display lighting applications such as LCD screens used in television sets or desktop computers.

Coal power in Turkey to double if Turkey's plans go forward

Turkey is planning to double its coal power capacity in four years, the third largest investment in the polluting fossil fuel in the world, health campaigners have warned.The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) today called on the European Union to promote sustainable development in Turkey and end lending for new coal projects.

Germany is key market for the Tesla Home Battery system

Electric car pioneer Tesla unveiled a "home battery" last week which its founder Elon Musk said would help change the "entire energy infrastructure of the world". Environmentally-conscious German customers are targeted as potential buyers of the product.The Tesla Powerwall, unveiled on Thursday (30 April), can store power from solar panels, from the electricity grid at night when it is typically cheaper, and provide a secure backup in the case of a power outage.In theory the device, which typically would fit on the wall of a garage or inside a house, could make solar-powered homes completely independent of the traditional energy grid.

Europe focuses on food safety on World Health Day

On World Health Day (7 April), European Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis and Neven Mimica highlight the importance of food safety, malnutrition, and fighting health threats both in the Union and in developing countries.2015 is the European year for development (EYD). It is an opportunity to show how EU assistance is improving the lives of millions in developing countries; but also in Europe. Food safety, which is the theme of this year’s World Health Day, is a clear example of this.Too often in Europe we take for granted that the food on our plates is safe. Europe should be proud that its 500 million consumers benefit from the highest food safety and health protection standards in the world, and that many other countries take them as the norm to be followed. However, we must not become complacent.

European study shows biofuel production can increase with low impacts

EU countries could increase their production of biofuels with a minimum impact on the environment, Utrecht University scientists concluded in a study published on Tuesday (13 January). Biofuels are the main green alternative to fossil fuels used in transport, but they compete with feed crops that share the same agricultural land.As a consequence, forests are being turned into farmland to increase the terrestrial surface for planting more food crops, a phenomenon known as indirect land use change (ILUC). 

Carbon capture and the UN Economic Commission for Europe

The only way to limit global warming to less than two degrees is to combine renewable energy and energy efficiency with a large expansion in the use of carbon capture and storage, writes Christian Friis Bach.  Christian Friis Bach is executive secretary and under-secretary-general of UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).I will admit that just a few years back I was very sceptical. Today I am convinced that we must do it. We must capture the carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels.Oil prices tumble. Coal resources are vast. Large new gas reserves have been found. Fossil fuels will be with us for many decades and will continue to underpin social and economic development around the world. We need to invest heavily in energy efficiency and in renewable energy sources, but the only way we can hope to limit global warming to less than two degrees is to combine it with a significant expansion of the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The role of taxes (and EV's) in reducing CO2 emissions from cars in Europe analyzed

The Netherlands had the lowest CO2 emissions from new cars in the European Union last year, thanks to its tax regime favouring fuel economy and low-carbon vehicles.Germany and Poland are among the countries with the highest C02 emissions from new cars and the weakest national tax policies, a report by NGO Transport & Environment has found.Cars are responsible for 15% of Europe’s total CO2 emissions and are the single largest source of emissions in the transport sector. 

Poland will buy in to climate change plan IF it gets aid

Poland says it will need cash and help in curbing its emissions if it is to sign up for a new decade of EU green energy policy at talks this month, according to a document seen by Reuters. The document shows the 28 EU member states are broadly ready to agree a new set of 2030 goals to follow on from 2020 energy and environment policy, although Europe's biggest power Germany says it will not agree a deal "at any price".

Wind energy not growing in Europe as quickly as expected

Europe's installed wind capacity will increase at a slower rate to the end of the decade than previously estimated, due to regulatory uncertainty and weak economic growth, an industry association said on Wednesday (23 July). European Union countries will have a combined 192.4 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind energy capacity by 2020, 64% higher than 2013 levels, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said in a report.