Browse by topic: Publication, Climate Change and Energy, Fuels


Trade and energy – looking beyond hydrocarbons

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) that, if completed, would be the largest bilateral FTA in the world, and transform transatlantic commerce. Trade volumes between the EU and US are very high, energy remains an important exception, largely due to the US ban or limit on crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Unsurprisingly the focus of EU negotiators is to end these limitations, but if the hope of cheap energy is one side of the coin, there is another: cheaper fossil energy means higher carbon emissions from increased consumption while crowding out renewable sources, all of which runs counter to the EU’s ‘40/27/27’ climate and energy targets for 2030.

Europe's tax deals for diesel

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The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.

NGO recommendations for upstream emissions reductions in the Fuel Quality Directive

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The recently adopted implementing rules for the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) include the possibility for fuel suppliers to use upstream emissions reductions (UERs) to reach the 6% decarbonisation target. This briefing contains T&E's recommendations for European Commission guidelines on UERs under the FQD. It outlines how the rules are vague and, without robust guidance by the European Commission and restrictions by member states, there is a risk of double counted and non-additional offset credits being used for compliance, seriously undermining the FQD’s effectiveness.

T&E responses to consultation on an EU strategy for LNG and gas storage

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In July 2015 the European Commission opened a public consulation on an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas and gas storage. In its response T&E state that natural gas cannot deliver the decarbonisation that the sector needs to achieve the EU climate goals up to 2050. Investing in this technology would divert necessary resources from truly low-carbon alternatives in the transport sector and would create lock-in effects. Public resources for energy transition in transport should go where it offers the greatest public benefits, improved efficiency, and sustainable electrification.

Public consultations on the Effort Sharing Decision and Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry

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In these documents, T&E responds to the public consultations on the EU Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) and Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). As transport is currently the largest sector within the ESD, it is vital to have a strong ESD with limited flexibilities to avoid watering down the EU climate targets and to achieve reductions in the transport sector. The way LULUCF is dealt with is also fundamental to avoiding a decrease in the level of ambition in sectors such as transport. For these reasons, T&E provided input to both consultations in close coordination with other environmental NGOs.

EU biofuels reform – endgame for bad biofuels

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On 28 April 2015, the European Parliament was expected to adopt a final compromise for the reform of EU biofuels policy that would then be endorsed by the Council of the EU. This briefing outlines how, after several years of difficult discussions, this compromise lacks the necessary ambition to tackle properly the issue of indirect land-use change (ILUC). However, it sets some key principles for the phase-out of first-generation biofuels, recognises the problem of ILUC emissions and introduces new measures for other alternatives such as advanced biofuels and renewable electricity. T&E stresses that these elements will need to be captured in the 2030 transport fuels policies.

Reasons to change the zero-rated criteria for biomass in the EU ETS

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This study is published to co-inside with the European Commission's public consultation on revising the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the period 2021-2030. The current EU ETS only accounts for smokestack emissions but erroneously rates the carbon emissions of biomass burning at zero. The study reviews the current use of biomass under the EU ETS and proposes steps to ensure that biomass use is only incentivised when it delivers real GHG emissions reductions.