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EU clinging to ‘false euphoria’ about biofuels

Hopes of having the full social and environmental effects of biofuels reflected in EU legislation before 2020 are fading after another round of negotiations led to further weakening of the European Commission’s proposal. With an agreement likely in the Council of Ministers next month, it looks as if the requirement for member states to report the effects of indirect land-use change (ILUC) will be further weakened. Also, food-based biofuels that are worse for climate change than traditional petrol and diesel will be allowed to increase by 50% from today’s levels and will not be capped under the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD).

Nobel Peace laureate calls on the EU to act on dirty oil

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work to ban landmines, and Chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, spoke today at a press conference in Brussels about the impact of the expansion of tar sands on local communities. She also emphasised the need for EU leadership on curbing the high-energy unconventional fuels that accelerate climate change. Jody Williams met with over 200 women from 13 communities during a recent fact-finding mission to the Alberta tar sands.

New call for tender for study on energy crops in Europe

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

Transport & Environment, BirdLife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau would like to commission a study to analyse the sustainable potential of energy biomass (specifically energy crops, short rotation coppice and forests) as a source of bioenergy in Europe.

Las arenas bituminosas y la Directiva sobre la Calidad de los Combustibles

Lo que es: La Directiva relativa a la Calidad de los Combustibles (FQD) establece para 2020 el objetivo de reducir en un 6% las emisiones de carbono de combustibles de transporte. Se trata de un objetivo acorde a la neutralidad tecnológica que deja a la industria una gama de opciones para cumplirlo de la forma económicamente más rentable. Una de estas formas es suministrando combustibles alternativos bajos en carbono como los biocombustibles sostenibles o la electricidad limpia.

Lo que no es: La propuesta de la Comisión de implementar la FQD asigna la intensidad de carbono a todas las materias primas de combustibles fósiles, concretamente, las arenas bituminosas, el carbón líquido, los esquistos bituminosos, el gas licuado y el petróleo convencional. NO discrimina los recursos según su localización geográfica; sólo se trata de la intensidad de carbono de cada fuente de combustible. Conforme a esta propuesta, los esquistos bituminosos tienen un valor de intensidad de carbono más alto que las arenas bituminosas. El «valor predeterminado» para las arenas bituminosas NO sólo está establecido para el petróleo canadiense, sino también para todos los combustibles que provengan de arenas bituminosas de cualquier parte del mundo, incluyendo Venezuela, Rusia, Madagascar y los EE.UU.

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Nisipurile Bituminoase si Directiva Privind Calitatea Carburantilor

Despre ce este vorba: Directiva privind Calitatea Carburantilor stabileste o tinta de 6% de reducere a intensitatii emisiilor de carbon pentru toti carburantii din transport, care sa fie atinsa pana in 2020. Aceasta tinta este neutra tehnologic, insemnand ca industria poate alege cea mai eficienta cale pentru a o atinge. Spre exemplu, acestia pot furniza carburanti cu intensitate mica de carbon, precum biocombustibili sustenabili sau electricitate din surse regenerabile.

Despre ce nu este vorba: Propunerea Comisiei pentru implementarea Directivei privind Calitatea Carburantilor aloca valori de intensitate a carbonului pentru fiecare sursa de combustibili fosili, precum nisipurile bituminoase, carbunele lichid, titeiul de sist, gazul lichefiat si titeiul conventional. Aceasta nu discrimineaza intre surse pe baza locatiei geografice. Titeiul de sist primeste o valoare mai mare a intensitatii carbonului decat nisipurile bituminoase. “Valorea implicita” pentru nisipurile bituminoase nu se aplica numai celor din Canada, dar tuturor carburantilor produsi din nisipuri bituminoase oriunde pe glob, incluzand tari ca Venezuela, Rusia, Madagascar si Statele Unite.

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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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‘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.

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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