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Wastes, residues and co-products for biofuels and bioliquids

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The Commission's proposal on biofuels, published in October 2012, introduced additional incentives for biofuels from wastes and residues. These biofuels can count four times towards the 10% target for renewables in transport. However, the proposed framework is not in conformity with waste legislation, nor adapted to the biofuel context. It also leaves residues and co-products undefined, instead opting just to include an incomplete list of raw materials in an annex without description or clarification. This briefing note, written by Tim Grabiel of Défense Terre, examines the treatment of waste, residues and co-products for biofuels and bioliquids within the Renewable Energy Directive and Fuel Quality Directive and suggests a different classification of these materials.

NGOs open letter to IATA demanding a global aviation emissions deal

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A coalition of 11 environmental, development and science groups wrote to Tony Tyler, the head of international aviation trade body, IATA, calling for a global sectoral approach that covers the environmental cost of airlines' emissions. The letter was sent days before 240 airlines gathered in Cape Town, South Africa at IATA's Annual General Meeting to discuss the industry issues including the sector's contribution to climate change. The full letter is reproduced in the downloadable link below.

Manipulation of fuel economy test results by carmakers: new evidence and solutions

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A growing body of evidence shows the current test used to measure car fuel efficiency is outdated, unrepresentative of real-world driving and lax enough to allow carmakers to systematically manipulate official test results at the expense of consumers’ trust. European institutions are presently finalising a regulation to lower CO2 emissions from cars and vans in 2020. This has stimulated intense debate when and how a new official test should be introduced. This briefing informs this debate in the light of new evidence from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) that for the first time compares progress in official and real-world vehicle fuel efficiency on a brand-by-brand basis.

Tar sands, heavy crudes, and the EU Fuel Quality Directive

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 The European Union’s fuel-quality directive currently proposes to assign a default emissions value to natural bitumen (oilsands) that is higher than the value for conventional crude oil, inrecognition of the increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the production and upgrading of oilsands. 

Environmental and economic impacts of FQD implementation

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A new study by Carbon Matters and CE Delft shows that proper implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) with different values assigned to different types of unconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands and oil shale, can shift investments away from these ultra-high carbon energy sources towards lower carbon ones, leading to global greenhouse gas savings. As such, the study underpins the need for keeping such differentiated values in the legislative proposal by the European Commission, which is currently subject to an impact assessment.

Saving lives, saving fuel: changing the face of European lorries

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Three quarters of goods in the EU are carried by road. Whilst only 3 percent of vehicles, lorries account for 25 percent of road transport CO2 emissions in Europe. Over the past 20 years the fuel efficiency of lorries has hardly improved1 and lorries are also involved in a disproportionate number (18%) of fatal accidents. One reason for this poor track record is the very blunt, hence unsafe and unstreamlined, front end of Europe’s lorries. This briefing illustrates the urgent need for smarter design and the benefits of such a change.

Low emission car measures under the EU’s CO2 regulations for passenger cars

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In 2009, the EU set legally binding targets for new cars to emit on average 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. The way the 2020 target will be met is presently being considered by the European Parliament and Council following a Commission proposal in 2012. The Commission proposed to reintroduce a system of “supercredits". Supercredits, which proponents say will encourage supply of ultra-low carbon vehicles, also allow carmakers to supply less fuel-efficient conventional cars, weakening the emission target. This paper outlines the potential effects of different proposals for supercredits on the 95g target to help inform policymakers. It is based upon the results of an independent analysis of the options by Ricardo-AEA.

Uneven returns? The economics of EU biofuels policy

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Europe is reforming its biofuels policy due to concerns raised about its impact on global land use change patterns and global food markets. The negative environmental impacts of the biofuels policy have been well demonstrated, but what is less clear are the economic implications. T&E, the EEB, BirdLife Europe and IISD have therefore funded this report to evaluate the costs and the benefits of the EU’s biofuels policy and its implications for the EU governments and citizens, who are currently facing economic hardship.

Fact or Fiction? Car & CO2 Emissions Regulation

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Proposals to lower CO2 emissions are currently being considered by the Environment Committee of the European Parlaiment. The amount of CO2 cars emit is directly related to the amount of fuel the vehicle consumes – lower carbon vehicles therefore use less fuel and are cheaper to run. This briefing outlines why 95g in the regulation should mean cars on average achieve 95g on the road and why flexibilities are unnecessary and counterproductive.

Monitoring of bunker fuel consumption

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Monitoring of fuel consumption and GHG emissions from international shipping is currently under discussion at the EU level as well as at the IMO. There are several approaches to monitoring, each with different characteristics. Important differences exist with regards to the costs of the equipment, operational costs, the accuracy of the measurements, and the potential to monitor emissions of gases other than CO2. Moreover, some approaches offer more opportunities to improve the operational fuel-efficiency of ships and fit better to possible future policies than others.The following report discusses these approaches.

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