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Biofuels reports: separating the good from the bad and the ugly

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The worst biofuels can emit 2000% more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels, while the best can genuinely cut down on emissions. Those are two conclusions of a new United Nations report, one of several papers published in the last month that reaffirm that only certain biofuels can be environmentally beneficial – and only then if produced in certain ways.

Securing the legislation is only half the battle

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Editorial by Kerstin Meyer, T&E Policy Officer

It was Germany’s ‘iron chancellor’ Otto von Bismarck who once said, ‘Laws are like sausages – it is better not to see them being made. This quote is not only true for the making of EU laws but also for what happens after they have been decided. Because making the law is only half the battle.

Offsetting is ‘a distraction’ that will not meet reduction targets

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The reputation of ‘carbon offsetting’ as a legitimate way to reduce environmental impact suffered a further blow last month when a leading on-line environmental travel company removed the option for its customers to offset their carbon emissions. Responsibletravel.com was one of the first travel promoters to offer its customers the chance to pay for environmental projects to offset the emissions caused by their trips, but now it says offsetting is a distraction from the need to reduce emissions as ‘it allows people to behave in the same way or worse’. A spokeswoman for the company said, ‘Too often offsets are used by the tourism industry to justify growth plans on the basis that money will be donated to projects in developing countries – global reduction targets will not be met this way.’

How to Avoid an Electric Shock - Electric Cars: From Hype to Reality

This report asks the question: what role can electric cars play in the decarbonisation of transport? It is an attempt to look behind the hype, and an attempt to bring the available scientific evidence to the attention of policymakers and the public.  

Threat to EU tyre safety rules could cost lives

The EU risks endangering road safety and creating additional carbon dioxide emissions following calls to weaken the technical details of new EU rules for car tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). EU member state officials will meet with the European Commission on Tuesday to discuss whether to approve weaker standards backed by the global car industry with the support of some Member State governments led by Germany and current EU Presidency holder, Sweden.

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