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The Little Book of Biofuels

Did you know that every car in Europe uses a blend of biofuels? This is because of EU law. And to meet this demand, global production of biofuels has skyrocketed. You may think ‘bio’ means biofuels are always good for the planet. But because biofuels are derived from plant products, any increase in their use has a direct impact on agriculture worldwide. That means more deforestation to make way for new agricultural land, releasing the stored-up carbon of rainforests into the air and driving up global food prices. Co-produced by T&E, BirdLife Europe, and the European Environmental Bureau, The Little Book of Biofuels explains this Butterfly Effect of Europe’s biofuels policy and how we can end it.

Dirty Deals: how trade talks threaten to bring tar sands to Europe

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The EU and the US are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free-trade agreement, which would be the world’s largest. Recently the pressure on the EU to weaken the Fuel Quality Directive has increased notably and oil companies and refiners have found in/with TTIP a new lobby vehicle to attack the FQD. Find out more in this briefing.

FQD - Fuel Quality Directive or Frequently and Quietly Delayed?

The Fuel Quality Directive (known in the Brussels bubble by the acronym FQD) is the missing link in the Barroso Commission's 2020 climate and energy package. This law aims to reduce the carbon intensity of Europe's transport fuels by 6% by 2020. But its real impact depends on its ‘implementing measures’. These measures rank different types of biofuels and fossil fuels based on their greenhouse gas emissions. They also set up rules requiring oil companies to report the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply. Because of fierce lobbying by oil companies and the Canadian government, the FQD remains unimplemented to this day. This timeline shows the delayed progress of the FQD.

Vote NO to the dismantling of the Aviation ETS

The European Parliament's Environment Committee votes on 19 March 2014 on the flawed agreement on aviation in the Emissions Trading System. Transport & Environment believes this deal should be REJECTED and urges all Members of the European Parliament to vote NO to it in order to secure a better deal.

Implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive

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In 2009, the EU revised the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) and set out a new target in its Article 7a to reduce the carbon intensity (CO2 emissions) of road transport fuels by 6% between 2010 and 2020. However, in the absence of implementation provisions this target is still not in force – 4 years on. We are concerned that Europe’s oil supply is in fact “recarbonising” – despite the FQD target. Without further action, the EU will increase its use of fuels produced from tar sands and oil shale, according to the Commission’s Impact Assessment study.

EU Energy Ministers must choose right path for the world’s climate and food security

On 12 December, energy ministers will come together in Brussels to vote on the European Commission’s proposed reform of EU biofuel policy. The reform is designed to reduce the environmental and social impacts of EU demand for biofuels – specifically the Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) effects of their production. This media advisory outlines how, if left unchanged, current policy will lead to higher instead of lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, will destroy forests and damage biodiversity, will push small scale farmers off their land and threaten the food security of the world’s poorest people.

50/50 snap back for aviation ETS

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The new Commission proposal cuts the emissions coverage and environmental impact of the aviation Emissions Trading System by two thirds. Only the portion of flights leaving the European Economic Area (EEA) which are within EEA ‘airspace’ would be covered under this proposal. The proposal also exempts from emissions coverage all carriers operating on routes from the EEA to over 80 developing countries with less than 1% of aviation emissions.

Las arenas bituminosas y la Directiva sobre la Calidad de los Combustibles

Lo que es: La Directiva relativa a la Calidad de los Combustibles (FQD) establece para 2020 el objetivo de reducir en un 6% las emisiones de carbono de combustibles de transporte. Se trata de un objetivo acorde a la neutralidad tecnológica que deja a la industria una gama de opciones para cumplirlo de la forma económicamente más rentable. Una de estas formas es suministrando combustibles alternativos bajos en carbono como los biocombustibles sostenibles o la electricidad limpia.

Lo que no es: La propuesta de la Comisión de implementar la FQD asigna la intensidad de carbono a todas las materias primas de combustibles fósiles, concretamente, las arenas bituminosas, el carbón líquido, los esquistos bituminosos, el gas licuado y el petróleo convencional. NO discrimina los recursos según su localización geográfica; sólo se trata de la intensidad de carbono de cada fuente de combustible. Conforme a esta propuesta, los esquistos bituminosos tienen un valor de intensidad de carbono más alto que las arenas bituminosas. El «valor predeterminado» para las arenas bituminosas NO sólo está establecido para el petróleo canadiense, sino también para todos los combustibles que provengan de arenas bituminosas de cualquier parte del mundo, incluyendo Venezuela, Rusia, Madagascar y los EE.UU.

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Nisipurile Bituminoase si Directiva Privind Calitatea Carburantilor

Despre ce este vorba: Directiva privind Calitatea Carburantilor stabileste o tinta de 6% de reducere a intensitatii emisiilor de carbon pentru toti carburantii din transport, care sa fie atinsa pana in 2020. Aceasta tinta este neutra tehnologic, insemnand ca industria poate alege cea mai eficienta cale pentru a o atinge. Spre exemplu, acestia pot furniza carburanti cu intensitate mica de carbon, precum biocombustibili sustenabili sau electricitate din surse regenerabile.

Despre ce nu este vorba: Propunerea Comisiei pentru implementarea Directivei privind Calitatea Carburantilor aloca valori de intensitate a carbonului pentru fiecare sursa de combustibili fosili, precum nisipurile bituminoase, carbunele lichid, titeiul de sist, gazul lichefiat si titeiul conventional. Aceasta nu discrimineaza intre surse pe baza locatiei geografice. Titeiul de sist primeste o valoare mai mare a intensitatii carbonului decat nisipurile bituminoase. “Valorea implicita” pentru nisipurile bituminoase nu se aplica numai celor din Canada, dar tuturor carburantilor produsi din nisipuri bituminoase oriunde pe glob, incluzand tari ca Venezuela, Rusia, Madagascar si Statele Unite.

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Effect of the Lithuanian proposal to the European Parliament on car CO2 emissions targets

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In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. In July 2012, the European Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target; and in June 2013, a first-reading agreement was reached on the proposal. Following the agreement, a coalition of Member States led by Germany successfully delayed a vote in Council and then overturned the deal in the Environment Council. Lithuania has now developed a new proposal it plans to table to the European Parliament. This briefing describes how the Lithuanian proposal will delay meeting the 2020 target until 2024.

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