On 28 October the European Commission proposed legislation to reduce the average CO2 emissions of light commercial vehicles (vans) to 175 grams per kilometre. The proposal will be phased in from 2014 to 2016, and contains a long-term emission reduction target of 135 g/km by 2020.
Air pollutant emissions from land-based sources in Europe are continuing to fall slightly, but considerably slower than in the 1990s. Some of the reductions on land are also countered by rising emissions from international shipping.
The extraction of oil from the second largest reserves in the world has merely begun, but the environmental costs are already skyrocketing. Canadian NGOs claim tar sand development is the most destructive project on earth.
The boreal forests, one of the largest carbon stocks on earth, will not be able to respond to global warming by migrating northwards. Massive forest dieback, causing runaway warming, is a more likely scenario.
As reported in this issue, the latest research emphasizes the necessity to make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and as soon as possible if we are to avoid disastrous climate change.