Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today to limit at 6% the use of land-based biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020. They also approved accounting of indirect emissions (known as ILUC)  from biofuels under the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) with a review clause to put them in all pieces of legislation after 2020 . This vote will put the brakes on the growing consumption of biofuels that increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional diesel and petrol.
After a decade of promoting biofuels, Europe is in the midst of reforming its policy. Below you can download three different graphs (in pdf): the political positions of the three European institutions in early 2015; what they mean in terms of emissions and a detailed timeline of events since the first policy was introduced in 2003.
New research from the OECD suggests stricter environmental policies do not hold back economic growth, and that governments and companies are often wrong to claim that measures to tackle environmental threats will damage economic competitiveness through imposing a burden of ‘green tape’.
The right of individuals and NGOs to challenge environmental decisions has been thrown into doubt by a controversial ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
As the European Parliament’s Environment Committee Rapporteur today presents his report on the reform of Europe’s biofuels policy, a new web documentary explores how the EU has failed to decarbonise transport through biofuels. The web documentary can be found at www.biofuelsreform.org.
The Juncker Commission has been in office for a month now. I can’t resist a bit of early stocktaking, but I will also look ahead.
The world’s first code of conduct for ships using the newly accessible Arctic shipping routes has been agreed, but environmental groups say it does not go far enough and, without further strengthening, it is just a question of when a serious incident occurs in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.
European trade ministers set to discuss EU trade priorities on Friday have been warned that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada would unleash a wave of corporate lawsuits against Canada, the EU and its member states, particularly in the mining and financial sectors.
This first in-depth analysis of investor rights in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada by T&E and 14 other environmental NGOs, citizens’ groups and workers unions from both sides of the Atlantic finds that CETA grants even greater rights to foreign investors than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – increasing the risk that corporations will use CETA to constrain future government policy. It would unleash a wave of corporate lawsuits against Canada, the EU and its member states, particularly in the mining and financial sectors.
On 1 November, some key provisions of the Lisbon Treaty enter into force: namely, the root-and-branch reform of the voting weights of member states in the Council of Ministers. Their impact will be quite dramatic.