Last July, the European Commission’s Strategy for Low Emission Mobility promised a ‘phaseout of food-based biofuels’. However, this promise of a phase-out is not visible in Annex X of a leaked draft proposal of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The leak points to the Commission’s intention to keep 3.8% of 1G biofuels in transport fuels in 2030. This is only 1.1 percentage point less than the 4.9% share of 1G biofuels in transport in 2014. In this briefing T&E analyses: how much would the Commission’s draft proposal increase EU transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the 2021-2030 period compared to a ‘proper’ phase-out of 1G biofuels?; how much underestimation of EU transport GHG emissions in the 2021-2030 period would the draft proposal lead to – as a result of the zero-counting of biofuels – compared to a ‘proper’ phase-out of 1G fuels?
This report, released on the first anniversary of the Dieselgate scandal, exposes the shocking number of dirty diesel cars on the EU’s roads and the feeble regulation of cars by national authorities that have focused on protecting their own commercial interests or those of domestic carmakers. In the US, following the disclosure that VW had cheated emissions tests, justice has been swiftly and effectively delivered. This is in stark contrast to Europe where VW claims it has not acted illegally, no penalties have been levied and no compensation has been provided to customers.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) designed to alert the driver when their tyres are deflating or at a dangerously low pressure have been mandatory in passenger cars in Europe since 2014. T&E has long been aware that the 'indirect' type of TPMS fails to deliver in real-world driving conditions, and is concerned that such systems could be optimised to pass the regulatory test but fail to perform appropriately on the road. We commissioned a set of tests on two vehicles equipped with such indirect systems to check their effectiveness. Both cars failed to pass most of the tests that slightly diverged from the prescribed protocol.
Electro-mobility offers an unequalled solution to make Europe’s transport more efficient and less polluting. But the market for electric vehicles (EVs - both battery and plug-in hybrids) has had several false dawns. Finally in 2015, sales of electric cars reached the important milestone of a 1% market share. Overall electric car sales doubled in 2015 to 145,000. The most recent data in 2016 suggests further growth in 2016. Sales year to date suggest significantly more than 200,000 plug-in vehicles will be sold in Europe this year taking the total number of EVs on the road to more than 500,000.
This summer, the European Commission will present new targets for member states’ Effort Sharing Decision sectors for the period 2021 to 2030 and publish a communication on decarbonising transport. The ESD sets an overall EU climate target of -30% by 2030 below 2005 levels for sectors not included under the EU emissions trading system (non-ETS emissions) – mainly surface transport, buildings and agriculture. The ESD requires member states to limit their GHG emissions by meeting individual binding annual limits. This ‘recipe for Spain’ serves as a guideline on how to reduce emissions from transport and secure the climate target.
This summer, the European Commission will present new targets for member states’ Effort Sharing Decision sectors for the period 2021 to 2030 and publish a communication on decarbonising transport. Germany’s anticipated 2030 reduction target for all sectors covered by the ESD will be -39%. Thus, Germany will have to decrease its transport emissions to 97 MtCO2 eq by 2030. This ‘recipe for Germany’ serves as a guideline on how to reduce emissions from transport and secure the climate target.
Europe is starting to consider what its energy policy for transport should be for the 2020-2030 period and especially what it should do with biofuels as part of that. Following its reform of EU biofuel policy to take account of ILUC, the European Commission decided more research on land-use change emissions was needed. The result is the so-called Globiom report, which calculates land-use change (LUC) emissions resulting from additional demand for biofuels in Europe.
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.
Nearly three decades after they were first proposed, the pillars of sustainable development are still absent from the EU’s trade policy. Sustainable development is included in the EU’s trade strategies, negotiations and agreements — but in name only. The current approach still falls short of real commitment and ambition. In this study, T&E and ClientEarth have identified nine remedies ranging from meaningful enforcement and dispute-settlement to the inclusion of sustainable development provisions in every aspect of agreements. The EU has an ambitious list of open negotiations — the opportunity is ripe for an updated approach that truly integrates sustainable development and trade.
The system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited. This report analyses the gap between test results and real-world performance and finds that it has become a chasm, increasing from 8% in 2001 to 31% in 2012 and 40% in 2014. Without action this gap will grow to nearly 50% by 2020. It also looks at which models have been found to have the biggest gap between claimed CO2 emissions and real-world performance.