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Sables bitumineux et directive sur la qualité des carburants – de quoi sagit-il?

Contenu et objectifs: La Directive sur la qualité des carburants - FQD pour ses sigles en anglais - fixe comme objectif de diminuer de 6 %, d’ici 2020, l’intensité carbone des carburants utilisés dans les transports. C’est un objectif technologiquement neutre puisqu’il laisse aux industriels le choix parmi tout un éventail d’options pour y parvenir de la manière la plus rentable. Une de ces possibilités consiste à fournir des carburants moins carbonés, comme l’électricité propre.

Les faux débats: La Commission propose pour la mise en œuvre de la FQD d’attribuer une intensité carbone à toutes les sources de carburants, qu’il s’agisse des sables bitumineux, du charbon liquéfié, des schistes bitumineux, du gaz liquéfié ou du pétrole conventionnel. Elle NE fait PAS de distinction entre les sources sur la base de leur origine géographique. Il s’agit uniquement de l‘intensité carbone de chaque source de carburants. Avec cette proposition, les schistes bitumineux ont un taux d’intensité carbone plus élevé que les sables bitumineux. La «valeur par défaut» spécifique pour les sables bitumineux, NE s’applique PAS seulement au pétrole canadien, mais à tous les carburants qui sont produits à partir de sables bitumineux, où que ce soit dans le monde, y compris au Venezuela, en Russie, à Madagascar et aux États-Unis.

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German ‘dirty deals’ kill off 2020 cars CO2 agreement

The EU’s agreement on limiting carbon dioxide from new cars from 2020 has fallen through. EU environment ministers voted to reopen negotiations on the deal that was agreed in June, following a massive lobbying operation by the German government on behalf of Germany’s luxury car industry. T&E says this lobbying to protect German luxury car makers is an unprecedented abuse of the EU legislative process.

Focus on Europe after ICAO fails to agree world aviation ETS

The European Commission has published a proposal to amend once again the rules governing emissions trading for aviation. This latest amendment follows the failure of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) triennial assembly to agree a global emissions reduction scheme. T&E says the latest revisions to the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) would only cover 35% of the aircraft emissions included in the original ETS, and described the pressure the EU is under as ‘disgraceful’.

‘Vested interests’ set back good biofuels

Efforts to allow biofuels to make a meaningful contribution to fighting climate change have suffered a major setback. A vote by MEPs earlier this month – in somewhat farcical circumstances – effectively means there may be no agreement on encouraging good biofuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions before the elections of the European Parliament next year. T&E has described the situation as ‘pitiful’ and ‘a victory for vested interests over innovators’.

Nobel laureates demand Commission action on tar sands

Twenty-one Nobel prize winners have urged the EU to immediately implement the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) which would label tar sands as dirtier than other fuels. ‘The extraction of unconventional fuels – such as oil sands and oil shale – is having a particularly devastating impact on climate change,’ wrote the laureates in a letter to European commissioners and environment ministers earlier this month.

NGO letter to Barroso, van Rompuy and Schulz ahead of EU summit on innovation

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

The European Union faces critical economic challenges, including dwindling natural resources and increasing expenses linked to pollution and related health problems. Without further action, degradation of nature will cost the EU €1 trillion every year by 2050. T&E and partner NGOS support research, development and application of sustainable technologies and practices and call on Mr Barroso, van Rompuy and Schulz to promote sustainable innovation at the highest political levels.

Air time given to climate sceptics criticised

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its fifth report on global warming, concluding it is 95% certain that climate change is human-induced. However, it will not release its detailed analysis of transport’s contribution to climate change until Working Group III’s report on mitigation of climate change is published, possibly in April 2014.

The IPCC findings, published last month, were widely reported, but one of the world’s leading broadcasters, the BBC, has been criticised for giving ‘false balance’ to climate sceptics in its coverage of the report.

Decision on the future of EU biofuels delayed until 2015

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament today refused to allow the rapporteur of the biofuels draft law, MEP Corinne Lepage, to start negotiations with member states in a fast second-reading procedure. This procedural vote has important consequences because it means a decision on the future of biofuels in Europe is unlikely to be taken before 2015.

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