Biofuels produced from palm oil grown in tropical peatlands are a significant source of greenhouse gases. This is the finding of a new study done for the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) which, if taken on board by the EU, would disqualify biofuels from palm oil sources from being counted towards the EU’s renewable fuels target.
Petrol and diesel made from tar sands, coal, gas and oil shale will be assigned a different carbon footprint than fuels from conventional oil, if a proposal from the Commission is supported by EU member states. After years of lobbying by Canada and some sections of the oil industry, the Commission has stuck to its original plan to assign different values to fuels dependent on their source. The values are needed as part of EU efforts to reduce the climate impact of fuel production by 6% by 2020.
More than 150 scientists and economists have written to the Commission calling for it to recognise that biofuels production can have indirect impacts on land-use, and for the resulting emissions to be taken into account in assessing which biofuels help in the fight against global warming. The letter comes as one branch of the biofuels industry has broken away from the rest by saying it would support indirect land-use change (Iluc) being a factor in assessing which biofuels will count towards the EU’s renewable energy target and hence qualify for support.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has completed what is believed to be the first assessment of state support for fossil fuels.
A new report says the EU is seriously miscalculating the contribution biofuels can make to tackling global warming. It calls on the EU to review its bioenergy laws, but the recommendation comes as the EU looks set to postpone by seven years the introduction of new rules aimed at accounting for the full climate impacts of biofuels.
The Commission is consulting on its plans for an alternative fuels strategy, which will form part of the EU’s transport policy for the next 10 years.
More than 2000 demonstrators representing all 51 states of the USA staged a protest outside the White House last month, objecting to the Keystone XL pipeline that would pump oil derived from tar sands from Canada to large parts of America.
The European Commission must give due consideration to the latest scientific results on indirect land use change (ILUC) when assessing biofuels' sustainability and come up with a long overdue legislative proposal that gives each feedstock a specific ILUC factor that reflects their real CO2 emissions. This is the message of a letter from BirdLife International, ClientEarth, the European Environmental Bureau, Transport and Environment, Greenpeace and Wetlands International to the European Commission president.
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.