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T&E’s next 25 years will spark Europe’s electric shift

As many of you know, T&E will mark its 25th anniversary with a celebratory exhibition and debate at Brussels’ Royal Museums of Art & History on 26 March and you are all invited. But now I have the daunting task of writing an editorial worthy of the occasion. How do you summarise 25 years in 700 words? Here we go.

Electro-mobility and alternative fuels central to ‘energy union’ agenda

Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.

EU unveils distance-based road charging plan

Plans to develop a Europe-wide road-charging scheme have been unveiled by EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bluc. The charging of cars and lorries for road use based on distance driven would be optional, allowing member states to not participate if they did not wish to.

MEPs confirm support for 6% biofuels cap

Members of the European Parliament's environment committee have backed a 6% limit on land-based biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020. Critics say many of these so-called first-generation biofuels drive up global food prices and emit as much carbon as conventional fossil fuel and even more in some cases.

MEPs must separate cream of biofuels crop from the rest

Last week another study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) said that biofuels are not a green alternative to fossil fuels for two reasons. First, producing food or even non-edible crops for fuels is an inefficient use of land – turning solar radiation into non-food energy in plants takes a hell of a lot of land for a small amount of liquid fuel. Second, biofuels production increases competition for land, which is either needed to preserve ecosystems that host biodiversity and store carbon or to produce enough food to feed the growing population.

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