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.
The Commission is postponing a decision on how to assess the climatic impact of non-conventional sources of transport fuel such as tar sands and oil shale. A decision was expected in June, but Brussels has ordered an assessment of the impact of giving high-carbon sources a higher climate rating, which means no final judgement will be made until next year. The postponement came just days after T&E published a study saying reducing greenhouse gas emissions from petrol and diesel production will cost less to administer than the oil industry says.
A new study has recommended Europe should have a single fuel economy and carbon dioxide labelling system for cars. The study by the British consultancy AEA looked at the labelling systems in operation in eight member states, and found some compare a car with the whole car market while others show only how it compares with others of the same type. It says comparisons against the whole of the available car fleet are likely to be more useful in the absence of further research. Another report in 2010 also recommended a harmonised approach to labelling.