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European Parliament votes to phase out first-generation biofuels after 2020

Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today to limit at 6% the use of land-based biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020. They also approved accounting of indirect emissions (known as ILUC) [1] from biofuels under the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) with a review clause to put them in all pieces of legislation after 2020 [2]. This vote will put the brakes on the growing consumption of biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol. 

#BiofuelsReform: Key tools for MEPs

After a decade of promoting biofuels, Europe is in the midst of reforming its policy. Below you can download three different graphs (in pdf): the political positions of the three European institutions in early 2015; what they mean in terms of emissions and a detailed timeline of events since the first policy was introduced in 2003.

Companies’ ‘green tape’ fear exaggerated

New research from the OECD suggests stricter environmental policies do not hold back economic growth, and that governments and companies are often wrong to claim that measures to tackle environmental threats will damage economic competitiveness through imposing a burden of ‘green tape’.

Biofuels reform back in European Parliament – view new web documentary

As the European Parliament’s Environment Committee Rapporteur today presents his report on the reform of Europe’s biofuels policy, a new web documentary explores how the EU has failed to decarbonise transport through biofuels. The web documentary can be found at www.biofuelsreform.org.

EU-Canada trade deal would unleash wave of investor lawsuits, analysis finds

European trade ministers set to discuss EU trade priorities on Friday have been warned that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada would unleash a wave of corporate lawsuits against Canada, the EU and its member states, particularly in the mining and financial sectors.

Modest climate and energy targets won’t cut it

EU governments last week agreed three modest targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, increase the share of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency by 2030. Environmental groups said the goals would not do enough to cut Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and put it on track to meet its own 2050 climate pledges.

Juncker Commission has much to prove on environment

The European Parliament voted last week to approve a college of commissioners with much to prove in terms of its commitment to environmentally-sustainable policies and effective measures to fight climate change. The Commission was formally accepted by the European Council on Friday morning.

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