The European Parliament's Transport committee reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive) that
would open the door for Member States to charge for air and noise pollution in road tolls.
Sustainability standards for bioenergy should be included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as they are in the Fuel Quality and Renewable Energy directives, according to a group of ten environmental NGOs including Transport & Environment.
T&E's Nusa Urbancic writes in today's Financial Times:
Sir, Your special report on oil and gas (March 21) highlighted renewed investor interest in biofuels and tar sand oil following recent rises in the oil price. But it failed to mention California’s low-carbon fuel standard or the European Union’s revised fuel quality directive, two recent regulatory developments that will have important implications for these alternative sources.
Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard is promising to stand firm on a growing battle between the EU and Canada over the environmental status of tar sand fuels. Reports last month said Canada was threatening to pull out of a wide-ranging trade deal with the EU if Brussels insisted on giving tar sands a higher carbon value than conventionally extracted oil, although the Canadians have since denied this.
A report by Germany’s Öko Institut says there is sufficient scientific knowledge for the EU to include the effects of indirect land use change (Iluc) in its sustainability criteria to determine which biofuels will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report was commissioned by the European Parliament’s environment committee, and puts further pressure on the Commission to include ILUC in its assessment of policy options on biofuels due to be published in July.
Europe could lose economically if it does not adopt a 30% CO2 emissions reduction target for 2020. That is the conclusion of a report for the German environment ministry which challenges traditional economic assessments of emissions reduction.
Tar sands are one of the most polluting ways known to man for producing transport fuel. They also represent a huge climate change threat for our planet and are causing an ecological disaster in Canada, the top tar sands exporter and producer in the World.