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EU lawmakers agree to phase out land-based biofuels

The use of land-based biofuels as part of EU plans for the decarbonisation of transport will be restricted under a proposal endorsed by the European Parliament’s environment committee today. Transport & Environment cautiously welcomes the decision, which is expected to be approved by the full Parliament later this month, will limit at 7% the use of first-generation biofuels that can count toward the 10% renewable energy target in transport by 2020.

New ships 10% less fuel efficient than those built in 1990 – study

New ships built in 2013 were on average 10% less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990, according to a new study. It also shows that container ships built 30 years ago already, on average, beat the so-called ‘Energy Efficiency Design Index’ standard that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set for new ships built in 2020. The standard is up for review next month.

Study of historical trends in ship design efficiency

This first-time study of the historical development of the efficiency of new ships shows that, in fact, the efficiency of new ships has actually deteriorated since 1990 by 10% on average. This demonstrates the failure of market forces to reduce ship and shipping emissions and emphasizes the need for regulation.

How Canada and the oil industry undermined Europe’s fuel quality rules

The Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) was first proposed in early 2007 as part of the so-called “integrated approach”, to ensure that the oil industry would also contribute to the fight against climate change. Its implementation has been frequently and quietly delayed until the end of 2014 due to massive amount of lobbying by oil interests.

Non-Road Mobile Machinery: The good, the bad and the dirty

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This briefing assesses the new regulation proposal for emissions from non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). It makes modest progress in covering a wider range of engines types and in tackling the issue of particulates emissions. However, T&E finds that the proposal is likely to create market distortion and favour specific fuel/technologies that cannot be justified. It also has no requirement on existing engines to adopt retrofit equipment to have an earlier impact on air quality, resulting in an unacceptably long wait in light of the persistent air quality problems around Europe.

Aviation VAT review – solving twin challenges

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Aviation's tax-exempt status has always been an unjustified subsidy to the most carbon-intensive mode of transport. As the EU's commits to further emissions reductions and to a shift towards environmental taxation, so arguments for abolishing these exemptions are stronger than ever. This briefing outlining what steps the EU needs to take, and how ending these exemptions can reduce emissions and create employment.

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.

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