Browse by topic: Air Pollution, Climate Change and Energy, Fuels


Europe gifting €2,600 subsidy for every diesel car through low diesel tax – study

Europeans pay 14 cent more on average in tax for a litre of petrol than for diesel – indirectly subsidising diesel cars to the order of €2,600 per vehicle, a new study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) finds. This 30% tax gap in favour of diesel is a key reason for diesel cars’ majority share of new sales in Europe and leads to air quality problems where nine out of 10 diesel cars fail to meet NOx limits when driven on the road. [1]

Europe's tax deals for diesel

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The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.

Opposition that risks having no clean future for liquid transport fuels

Jos Dings, Director T&E

Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E director
People who follow our work – and Europe’s environmental policy – a little bit will have noticed that two fuels-related draft laws keep dragging on without any apparent progress. The first one is what to do about indirect land use change effects of biofuels (key words: Iluc, biodiesel). The second is whether or not to give petrol and diesel from unconventional fossil sources a higher lifecycle greenhouse gas default value (key words: fuel quality directive, tar sands).

Shipping becomes first industry with global climate standard

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Shipping has become the first industry to agree a global carbon dioxide reduction strategy. This month’s vote at the International Maritime Organisation approved the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships. T&E welcomed the decision, but says it cannot be seen as a solution on its own, especially because the EEDI will take many years to be truly effective.

NGOs welcome Commission’s proposal to clean up shipping as important first step

The European Commission last week proposed stricter controls on dangerous sulphur in ship fuel [1] Environmental NGOs welcomed what they described as a long overdue proposal, which will bring the EU in line with the standards agreed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 3 years ago.

Bioenergy: a carbon accounting time bomb

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The European Union established a 20% target for renewable energy use by 2020 and a 10% target for renewables in the transport sector by 2020. Bioenergy, including solid biomass and waste, is expected to represent 60% of the EU’s renewable energy use and biofuels is expected to cover most of the 10% renewable energy use in transport.