UN climate summit pledges to cut emissions from cars, planes and ships

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GLASGOW, Nov. 10 (Reuters) – Automakers, airlines and governments on Wednesday unveiled a series of pledges at the UN climate summit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from global transportation , although with some notable absences.

Driving, flying and shipping contribute almost a quarter of global human-made greenhouse gas emissions, making transportation a valuable target in the fight against climate change.

U.S. automakers Ford (FN) and General Motors (GM.N) were part of a group that has pledged to phase out fossil-fueled vehicles by 2040, thereby accelerating the transition to electric motors and s ‘moving away from the internal combustion engines they pioneered for a century. since. The second most populous country in the world, India, also joined the pledge.

But a sign of the challenges of the zero-emission transition, the world’s two largest automakers, Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), have not registered. Neither do China, the United States and Germany, all major automotive markets.

Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace Germany said the absence of major economies and producers was “of grave concern”. The EU executive offered 27 member states, including Germany, in July to ban the sale of combustion vehicles from 2035, but the plan has yet to be approved. Read more

Major U.S. airlines, meanwhile, are joining an effort to accelerate the development and use of so-called sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) to reduce emissions from air travel.

Sustainable aviation fuel is made from renewable sources such as plants and used cooking oil and can reduce emissions by up to 80%, but it is more expensive than petroleum-based jet fuel and doesn’t is not available in the large quantities required.

Alaska Airlines (ALK.N), JetBlue (JBLU.O), United Airlines and the Amazon.com Aviation Unit (AMZN.O) Amazon Air are among the companies joining the effort to help increase SAF production, price reductions and technological advancements.

On Tuesday, the United States said it is aiming to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions from its aviation sector by 2050, in line with the Association’s global commitment. international air transport.

IATA chief executive Willie Walsh said he expected airlines to beat an interim target of 5.2% of their sustainable fuel needs by 2030, provided companies energies increase their production.

Air travel accounts for nearly 3% of global emissions, a figure that researchers say could increase rapidly as demand for flights increases.

Environmental groups have expressed concern that the potential emission reductions from sustainable aviation fuels are being overestimated and have pushed for action to reduce air travel or develop zero-emission technology for aircraft. planes, a currently distant prospect.

About 80% of the goods traded in the world travel by sea, and maritime transport also accounts for about 3% of global emissions.

Nineteen countries, including Britain and the United States, said they had agreed to establish half a dozen zero-emission “green sea lanes” by 2050.

The statement did not specify how this would be achieved, saying only that partnerships between ports and operators would be needed to accelerate the decarbonization of the sector and its fuel supply.

Additional reporting by Nick Carey and William James, written by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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