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Leading world organisations warn on biofuels

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A report by a coalition of leading inter-governmental organisations has called for an end to all subsidies and targets for biofuels. The report, whose backers include the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and the OECD, also calls for an acceleration in research into alternative ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and securing energy supplies.

Fuel taxes down 10 cents in 10 years

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350 000 jobs ‘lost’ and chance to cut imports and emissions missedAverage fuel tax in Europe has fallen in real terms by €0.10 per litre since 1999, which has cost 350 000 jobs. These are the findings of a new study by T&E, which coincides with publication of the Commission’s proposals to revise the EU Energy Tax Directive. The proposed revision seeks to narrow the gap between Europe’s differing rates of diesel tax but leaves untouched the current ban on taxing aviation and shipping fuels.

A step in the right direction – but only on diesel tax

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Opinion - By Jos Dings
T&E DirectorAfter more than two years of dithering, the Commission has finally published its proposals for a revised energy tax directive. The message is mixed. There is a lot of progress in this directive, mainly to do with diesel taxes, but the big criticism is inconsistency. The Commission has made good progress in one area, but has totally failed to see that this can help other areas too.

Canada’s tar sands denial undermined by leaked letter

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A letter leaked to the Reuters news agency confirms that Canada has threatened the EU over European concerns about the environmental performance of petrol and diesel derived from tar sands. Canada originally denied rumours that it had threatened that the EU’s concerns about tar sands oil could affect an emerging trade agreement between the EU and Canada.

Time to consider investing in fuel-saving technologies

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T&E's Nusa Urbancic writes in today's Financial Times:

Sir, Your special report on oil and gas (March 21) highlighted renewed investor interest in biofuels and tar sand oil following recent rises in the oil price. But it failed to mention California’s low-carbon fuel standard or the European Union’s revised fuel quality directive, two recent regulatory developments that will have important implications for these alternative sources.

Will EU stand up to Canada on tar sands?

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Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard is promising to stand firm on a growing battle between the EU and Canada over the environmental status of tar sand fuels. Reports last month said Canada was threatening to pull out of a wide-ranging trade deal with the EU if Brussels insisted on giving tar sands a higher carbon value than conventionally extracted oil, although the Canadians have since denied this.

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