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Trade and energy – looking beyond hydrocarbons

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) that, if completed, would be the largest bilateral FTA in the world, and transform transatlantic commerce. Trade volumes between the EU and US are very high, energy remains an important exception, largely due to the US ban or limit on crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Unsurprisingly the focus of EU negotiators is to end these limitations, but if the hope of cheap energy is one side of the coin, there is another: cheaper fossil energy means higher carbon emissions from increased consumption while crowding out renewable sources, all of which runs counter to the EU’s ‘40/27/27’ climate and energy targets for 2030.

Europe's tax deals for diesel

The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.

Cutting transport emissions under the 2030 effort sharing decision

This paper, as well as the attached explanatory briefing, attempts to quantify the challenge for EU member states in reducing transport emissions under the expected 2030 ‘effort sharing decision’ (ESD) and the extent to which CO2 standards for cars, vans and trucks can help achieve those targets. It makes very clear what the impacts are of mandating, or not, improved vehicle efficiency.

Reasons to change the zero-rated criteria for biomass in the EU ETS

This study is published to co-inside with the European Commission's public consultation on revising the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the period 2021-2030. The current EU ETS only accounts for smokestack emissions but erroneously rates the carbon emissions of biomass burning at zero. The study reviews the current use of biomass under the EU ETS and proposes steps to ensure that biomass use is only incentivised when it delivers real GHG emissions reductions.