New figures released today by the US Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) show that if Europe does not act, its imports of tar sands, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, would likely skyrocket from about 4,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 to over 700,000 bpd in 2020 . The resulting emissions increase in transport would be the equivalent of adding six million cars to Europe’s roads. The 2020 scenario will occur if the EU clean fuel standard, set out in the Fuel Quality Directive, is not comprehensively implemented.
A ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make lorries safer and more fuel-efficient comes before the European Parliament this month. MEPs on the European Parliament’s transport committee will discuss loosening regulations on the dimensions of lorry cabs that will allow them to be more aerodynamic and give drivers greater peripheral vision.
Ahead of the publication of the EU's Climate and Energy Strategy for 2030, civil society organisations and industry wrote to Commission President José Manuel Barroso urging him to maintain the Fuel Quality Directive as an important tool in the post-2020 decarbonisation framework. They called on the Commission to produce a proper impact assessment and initiate a public consultation on how this policy should be improved and continued.
This analysis, shared in April stakeholder meetings in 2013 by the Commission, looks at regulatory options and financial and greenhouse gas impacts of implementation of the reporting methods of the Fuel Quality Directive.
Efforts to reduce the amount of food crops used to make transport fuels have suffered a setback with the defeat of a proposal that would have limited how much of the EU’s renewable fuels target could be made up from food-based biofuels. T&E said the proposal “was ugly, but the status quo is even worse”.
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.
Advanced emissions monitoring of large ships calling at EU ports could help save owners and operators of large ships up to €9 million/year, according to a new study published by environmental NGOs Transport & Environment and Seas at Risk. These savings would come from lower operational costs of using automated systems such as fuel flow meters or continuous emissions monitoring, which are already used by many of the world’s largest shipping companies.
This blogpost was first published in the European Voice.Looking back at 2013, it has been a terrible year for those Londoners who decided to cycle around the city. 14 bike-users have been killed so far this year, 9 of them by HGVs, and despite even Olympic cyclists calling for immediate action, nothing concrete has come out of this tragic toll. In wider Europe, the EU estimates that 4,200 people are killed by lorries annually – a disproportionately high number considering how few lorries are on the roads.
MEP Phil Bennion invites you to participate in a conference debate on the benefits to road safety, cities, hauliers and the environment of proposed updates to the weights and dimensions of lorries. The conference will take place on 29 January from 17h00 - 18h30. The debate will be followed by a cocktail.
In this letter, more than 50 leading scientists from around the world call for President Barroso to quickly implement the Fuel Quality Directive - a law which would keep dirty tar sands out of Europe.