Despite all the glaring evidence proving that palm-oil biodiesel is three times more polluting than fossil diesel, European transport still keeps burning more and more palm oil to power its diesel cars and trucks. 2015 data from OILWORLD, industry's reference for vegetable oils market analysis, shows a 3% increase in the use of palm oil for biodiesel. European biodiesel is now the main end product of imported palm oil, reaching an all-time-high share of 46%. This makes drivers the leading (albeit unaware) consumers of palm oil in Europe.
European heads of state have agreed that in 2030, 27% of Europe’s energy should come from renewable sources. Not all renewables are sustainable though; for instance, food-based biofuels as well as burning whole trees imported from the US in EU power plants has come in for a lot of criticism.
The European Union relies on foreign companies to supply 80% of its oil imports, according to a new study on the continent’s oil dependency. Russian firms supply more than one-third (36%) of imported crude, and just two of the top 10 oil suppliers to the EU are European – Shell and Norway’s Statoil.
Aviation is responsible for an estimated 5% of climate change, however the Paris Agreement left it unclear who is responsible for regulating the sector’s emissions. At the conclusion of COP21, the UN’s aviation agency, ICAO, and the aviation sector itself committed to substantial climate action in 2016. Now is the time to evaluate whether they followed through on that commitment. The two measures adopted in 2016 – a CO2 standard for new aircraft and a global market based measure to stabilise emissions at 2020 levels fall far short of what the Paris Agreement requires. Neither will have a meaningful impact on aviation emissions. Much more is needed – both greater ambition at ICAO, but also developed countries must go first and take serious action to reduce emissions from the aviation sectors which dwarf emissions from developing countries.
The pressure on Europe to take action on shipping’s climate emissions is building after the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) decided last month to delay by at least a further seven years any decision on a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from ships. Leading members of the European Parliament called the delay an abject failure by national governments and the shipping industry.
The Paris Agreement’s objectives cannot be achieved without action to address rapidly growing emissions from international aviation and shipping, however these emissions sit outside of national targets. At the conclusion of COP21, the two UN agencies which regulate these sectors (ICAO for aviation and IMO for shipping) promised big action in 2016. Did they deliver? The event will consider what progress, if any, was made this year, what impact it may have on these sectors and what needs to happen now.
In a letter to the environmental ministers of the European Union, 29 green organisations, including Carbon Market Watch, WWF, BirdLife and T&E, call for the ministers' support to ensure that the EU delivers its commitments in the Paris Agreement. In light of the Environment Council on 17 October, the organisations stress that especially the Effort Sharing and LULUCF regulations are of high importance to ensure the Paris Agreement's targets.
Electric Vehicle (EV) sales in Europe doubled in 2015 to 145,000 new sales;
Europe is the second biggest EV market in the world;
Renault-Renault is the world’s biggest producer of battery electric cars;
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV the biggest selling model in Europe;
Netherlands and Norway lead the pack in sales.