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EU classifies tar sands a 'high greenhouse gas' source but makes concession to Canada

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Canada has achieved a partial victory over the EU on the issue of how the environmental impact of transport fuels derived from tar sands should be assessed. The Commission has agreed to delay by a year the greenhouse gas intensity value it gives to tar sands, but it has made clear it views the fuel as a ‘high greenhouse gas intensity’ source.

Biofuel production is causing ‘land grab’ says World Bank

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The World Bank has admitted that the European and American biofuel targets are encouraging a rush for land in Africa and other developing regions that is reducing the amount of land available for growing food. The finding adds to growing concerns about indirect land-use change caused by biofuel production, and comes as the Commission has launched a consultation about such biofuel impacts.

Reuters report asks whether EU officials are changing science to suit EU policy

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Another two independent scientific studies have cast further doubt on the EU’s policy of pushing for biofuels to make up 10% of the transport market by 2020. And in a special report, the Reuters news agency says the general picture that emerges from a series of Commission documents is that EU officials might have ‘deliberately skewed the findings of scientific studies to fit their policies’.

Opinion

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By Chris Bowers
Editor, T&E Bulletin
In June 2004, I wrote an open letter to the FIA, the governing body of Formula 1 motor racing, suggesting it ought to limit the amount of fuel available to drivers in grand prix races.

Studies cast further doubt on sustainability of bioenergy 

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Two new independent scientific studies launched today cast further doubt on the EU’s policy of promoting biomass as fuel for heat and power generation, and biofuels for transport, [1] according to BirdLife International, the European Environmental Bureau and Transport & Environment.   

Biofuels: ‘Recognised by the European Union’ ... but what does it really mean?

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The Commission has published its guidance on the sustainability and certification of biofuels, which it hopes will stop the loss of credibility in the EU’s biofuels policy. But the new guidelines for the sustainability of biofuels production still do not take indirect land-use change into account, which experts and campaign groups say is the most crucial issue.

MEPs join NGOs in expressing alarm about oil from 'tar sands'

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The environment impact of oil produced from ‘tar sands’ is becoming an increasingly high-profile issue, after three developments in the last month that could be important in the fight for cleaner fuels. MEPs and a group of NGOs have warned that fuel quality legislation agreed in 2008 could be undermined because the true impact of tar sands on CO2 emissions is not reflected in the small print of the law now being discussed, and another NGO says oil from some of the most carbon-intensive sources is probably already in use on this side of the Atlantic.

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