A report commissioned by four environmental organisations says Europe can effectively meet its current renewable energy target in transport without the need for harmful biofuels. With growing concerns that the current EU biofuel policy will increase greenhouse gas emissions, the report presents an alternative scenario that promotes the use of truly sustainable biofuels, maximises non-liquid sources of energy, and reduces overall energy consumption. T&E says the first step towards this clearly improved scenario must be to change current EU policy so it accounts for the full carbon footprint of biofuels.
Environmental groups have reacted angrily to news that the Commission has approved a scheme that would allow fuels made from palm oil to count towards the EU’s renewable fuels target. The decision threatens to reignite the controversy that indirect land-use change (ILUC) is not being taken into account in the EU’s biofuels policy.
The USA will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer of oil well before 2020. That is one of the headline findings of the International Energy Agency’s latest report on energy trends, World Energy Outlook.
The Commission has published its eagerly awaited proposal to address indirect land-use change (Iluc) impacts of biofuels production. But the proposal stops short of tackling emissions from Iluc, saying such emissions must be reported but do not affect fuel producers’ ability to count biofuels as part of their renewable energy and climate targets. T&E has called this a missed opportunity to get the EU’s biofuels policy right.
T&E’s French member organisation FNE has started a campaign showing that fine particle emissions from diesel engines can have deadly consequences for human health and the environment.
Airlines have told the Commission that making the use of biofuels in aviation obligatory would harm their competitiveness.
The Commission has denied that changes to the EU Fuel Quality Directive will breach World Trade Organisation rules.
Efforts to tackle air pollution from shipping have been boosted by an agreement that is expected to reduce by 85% the sulphur content of fuel used by ships in EU waters by 2020.