Briefing on a new study by IEEP analysing the likely impacts on land use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of biofuel use by 2020, as projected in recently published National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) in 23 EU member states.
This study estimates the environmental impact of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) associated with the increased use of conventional biofuels that EU Member States have planned for within their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs).
T&E and other NGOs have called for the EU to bring shipping into the Emissions Trading Scheme after several emerging nations blocked the first global measure to cut carbon emissions from newly-built ships.
Canada has achieved a partial victory over the EU on the issue of how the environmental impact of transport fuels derived from tar sands should be assessed. The Commission has agreed to delay by a year the greenhouse gas intensity value it gives to tar sands, but it has made clear it views the fuel as a ‘high greenhouse gas intensity’ source.
The World Bank has admitted that the European and American biofuel targets are encouraging a rush for land in Africa and other developing regions that is reducing the amount of land available for growing food. The finding adds to growing concerns about indirect land-use change caused by biofuel production, and comes as the Commission has launched a consultation about such biofuel impacts.
Leading environmental law organisation, ClientEarth, is suing both the Council of the European Union and the European Commission over their failure to uphold EU transparency rules. The legal actions come as the European Union threatens to weaken its commitment to openness during a review of its own transparency regulations. The lawsuits indicate that a lack of transparency is becoming endemic among EU institutions.
Another two independent scientific studies have cast further doubt on the EU’s policy of pushing for biofuels to make up 10% of the transport market by 2020. And in a special report, the Reuters news agency says the general picture that emerges from a series of Commission documents is that EU officials might have ‘deliberately skewed the findings of scientific studies to fit their policies’.
By Chris Bowers
Editor, T&E Bulletin
In June 2004, I wrote an open letter to the FIA, the governing body of Formula 1 motor racing, suggesting it ought to limit the amount of fuel available to drivers in grand prix races.