In 2014, 45% of all the palm oil used in Europe ended up in the tanks of cars and trucks, data from EU vegetable oil industry association Fediol and obtained by green group Transport & Environment has revealed. This is equivalent to four Olympic-size swimming pools of palm oil every day.  It’s the first time that the sources of biodiesel in Europe have been made public.
This briefing details the feedstock used in biodiesel in Europe between 2010 and 2014. It is based on official industry data from Fediol obtained by T&E. The analysis shows that all of the 34% growth in EU biodiesel since 2010 comes from imported palm oil. The expansion of these plantations into natural rainforest is both having a devastating impact on biodiversity and causing net greenhouse gas emissions, to the effect that palm oil biodiesel is three times worse for the climate than fossil diesel.
The NGVA claims that natural and biogas are the only viable routes to clean up road vehicles, especially trucks. Even if we would ignore the issue of methane leakage – and that is not a good idea – the potential for natural gas remains limited.
The future Renewable Energy Directive should actively promote the electrification of transport. This is the key message from the Platform for Electro Mobility in its response to the public consultation on a new Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
Earlier this year the European Commission published a communication on the security of the EU natural gas supply. The Commission is also preparing a decarbonisation of transport communication and action plan. In this context, T&E commissioned Ricardo Energy & Environment to perform a study that analyses the climate and economic impacts of a switch from oil-based fuels (for example petrol, diesel, HFO) to natural and bio-gas-based products (LNG, CNG, bio-methane).
We all know the numbers by now. By 2030 GHG emissions in the EU need to drop 40% compared to 1990. For the traded sectors that means a 43% cut, for the non-traded sectors it requires a 30% cut – both compared to 2005. That was what the EU heads of states agreed in 2014. The 2030 climate targets were agreed before the Paris climate deal.
The European Commission opened a public consultation on “Preparation of a sustainable bioenergy policy for the period after 2020”, which closed on 10 May 2016. The objective of this consultation is to consult stakeholders and citizens on an updated EU policy on sustainable bioenergy for the period 2020-2030, as part of the EU renewable energy package, expected by the end of 2016. This is T&E’s response to the consultation.
It’s time to break the mantra that reducing the sector's climate impact will be costlyThe EU has agreed to reduce emissions from all sectors by 2030. If transport would do its fair share, it would need to reduce its emissions by 30% compared to 2005. However, certain policymakers and modellers think the transport sector should be given an easy ride.
Speech to Informal Council of EU Environment Ministers by Jos Dings, executive director, Transport & EnvironmentAmsterdam, 14 April 2016Thank you Madam President for the invitation and for organising this very timely and relevant event.I represent Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based environmental group specialising in sustainable transport, with 50 member organisations in 27 countries across this beautiful continent.