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Tackling real world emissions from cars

Light duty vehicles (LDVs) emit more pollutants on the road than in laboratory conditions. In order to solve this problem the Commission decided to introduce complementary type-approval procedures to measure gaseous and particulate emissions during real driving to make sure that they are similar to legal emission limits. To achieve this, the Real-Driving Emissions-Light Duty Vehicles (RDE-LDV) working group was created in 2011. Work in this group is currently focused on RDE tests during initial type approval.

This paper has been prepared by T&E to aid the work of this group. The paper considers the main topics of discussion: data analysis methods, boundary conditions, conformity factor, equipment (portable emissions measurement system – PEMS) and scope.

FQD - Fuel Quality Directive or Frequently and Quietly Delayed?

The Fuel Quality Directive (known in the Brussels bubble by the acronym FQD) is the missing link in the Barroso Commission's 2020 climate and energy package. This law aims to reduce the carbon intensity of Europe's transport fuels by 6% by 2020. But its real impact depends on its ‘implementing measures’. These measures rank different types of biofuels and fossil fuels based on their greenhouse gas emissions. They also set up rules requiring oil companies to report the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply. Because of fierce lobbying by oil companies and the Canadian government, the FQD remains unimplemented to this day. This timeline shows the delayed progress of the FQD.

Implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive

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.

EU Energy Ministers must choose right path for the world’s climate and food security

On 12 December, energy ministers will come together in Brussels to vote on the European Commission’s proposed reform of EU biofuel policy. The reform is designed to reduce the environmental and social impacts of EU demand for biofuels – specifically the Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) effects of their production. This media advisory outlines how, if left unchanged, current policy will lead to higher instead of lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, will destroy forests and damage biodiversity, will push small scale farmers off their land and threaten the food security of the world’s poorest people.

Particle emissions from petrol cars

Vehicle tests show that without the use of gasoline particulate filters (GPF) the number of particles emitted from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines is likely to exceed future European emissions limits, known as Euro 6 standards. Nowadays, particle emissions from these new petrol engines are higher than equivalent diesel vehicles. The cost of a filter to eliminate particle emissions is low (around €40), with no fuel economy penalty. Despite this, carmakers are delaying fitting filters on GDI cars and instead rely on manipulating tests. Their reluctance is worsening urban air pollution and reducing the health benefits of the new limits.

Tackling emissions from diesel machines

European air pollution rules for diesel machines such as bulldozers, excavators and barges are much more lax than those for cars and lorries. As well as this, some engine types and older machines are excluded from air pollution law. This is a problem because, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diesel exhaust is carcinogenic. Ambitious, comprehensive and consistent rules are needed to limit air pollution emissions from non-road mobile machinery (NRMM - diesel machines). These are required to address the growing urban air pollution that Europe faces. T&E believes that future EU legislation on diesel machines must be in line with emissions limits for equivalent road vehicles.

50/50 snap back for aviation ETS

The new Commission proposal cuts the emissions coverage and environmental impact of the aviation Emissions Trading System by two thirds. Only the portion of flights leaving the European Economic Area (EEA) which are within EEA ‘airspace’ would be covered under this proposal. The proposal also exempts from emissions coverage all carriers operating on routes from the EEA to over 80 developing countries with less than 1% of aviation emissions.

Las arenas bituminosas y la Directiva sobre la Calidad de los Combustibles

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Lo que es: La Directiva relativa a la Calidad de los Combustibles (FQD) establece para 2020 el objetivo de reducir en un 6% las emisiones de carbono de combustibles de transporte. Se trata de un objetivo acorde a la neutralidad tecnológica que deja a la industria una gama de opciones para cumplirlo de la forma económicamente más rentable. Una de estas formas es suministrando combustibles alternativos bajos en carbono como los biocombustibles sostenibles o la electricidad limpia.

Lo que no es: La propuesta de la Comisión de implementar la FQD asigna la intensidad de carbono a todas las materias primas de combustibles fósiles, concretamente, las arenas bituminosas, el carbón líquido, los esquistos bituminosos, el gas licuado y el petróleo convencional. NO discrimina los recursos según su localización geográfica; sólo se trata de la intensidad de carbono de cada fuente de combustible. Conforme a esta propuesta, los esquistos bituminosos tienen un valor de intensidad de carbono más alto que las arenas bituminosas. El «valor predeterminado» para las arenas bituminosas NO sólo está establecido para el petróleo canadiense, sino también para todos los combustibles que provengan de arenas bituminosas de cualquier parte del mundo, incluyendo Venezuela, Rusia, Madagascar y los EE.UU.