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European Commission buries new data on tar sand impacts

Canadian pressure for u-turn on EU clean fuel law

A scientific report (1) for the European Commission, published online yesterday and then immediately withdrawn, has confirmed that carbon emissions from Canadian tar sand oil production are 'significantly higher than...industry-average emissions from conventional fuels'.

EU postpones cleanup of biofuels policy again

Hopes of a sustainable future for EU biofuels policy have been dealt a blow following the European Commission’s decision to delay a critical decision on how to account for the impacts of ‘indirect land use change’ (ILUC). Environmental groups BirdLife Europe, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and T&E are calling for the immediate revision of biofuel sustainability criteria to take ILUC impacts into account.

Could this be the breakthrough in tackling shipping’s climate impact?

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Shipping could become the first industry to have a global carbon dioxide reduction measure. A legislative process has been set in motion at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which, if approved, could see obligatory energy efficiency standards for new ships come into effect in 2013. A vote is expected at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in July.

MEPs add weight to land-use concerns

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A group of MEPs has written to leading commissioners, expressing ‘serious concern’ about the issue of indirect land-use change (Iluc) caused by biofuels production. Their letter follows the publication last month of a report commissioned by nine NGOs showing the additional emissions of greenhouse gases likely to be caused by an increase in use of biofuels if EU biofuels policy doesn’t change. It also comes amid signs that the biofuels industry is struggling to attract finance.

Sowing the seeds of smarter transport policy

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Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E Director
Did we miss something? Last year, the European Commission didn’t propose a single new legislative measure to clean up transport. To be fair, it has been spending most of its time worrying about the future of the Eurozone. As a result, for T&E this was the sort of year where seeds for smarter transport policy were sown. We’re optimistic that next year could bring a decent crop of positive changes.

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