Efforts to remove one of the main causes of air pollution and acid rain from shipping have been boosted by a vote in the European Parliament. MEPs on the environment committee have approved draft rules to reduce the sulphur content of marine fuels. The changes now have to be confirmed by environment ministers and by the full Parliament.
A damaging report has revealed that the Canadian government has been deliberately trying to attack European climate change policies that would force producers of oil extracted from tar sands to reduce greenhouse gases.
An advisory body to the German government says the country should not increase imports of crops for biofuels or it will contribute to hunger in developing countries.
Environmental groups have welcomed the outcome of a key vote today in the European Parliament on the sulphur content of ship fuels.
Eight Nobel Peace Prize laureates have written to European Heads of State and Ministers of the Environment urging them to tackle the most climate polluting sources of transport fuel, notably tar sands.
On 16 February 2012 the environment committee of the European Parliament will vote on a proposal to limit the sulphur content in fuels used by ships in EU seas. This briefing gives an overview of the key issues at stake.
The United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to food has called for an urgent rethink in EU biofuels policy before too much investment is made on the back of unsustainable biofuels targets. His comments come as more evidence emerges that biofuels may be a poor means of tackling climate change.
by Magnus Nilsson, T&E Senior Campaigner
Raising taxes on fossil fuels is pretty much the only climate policy tool that in all circumstances delivers real emission reductions. Telling people that the cost of petrol and diesel will have to rise may be a difficult message for politicians to put across, but if this method is rejected or not possible, climate policy will simply become unnecessarily costly.
Europe’s climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard is meeting EU environment ministers today to discuss Europe’s plan to force oil companies to clean up transport fuels. The meeting comes amid a long-running lobbying campaign by Canada and the oil industry who are resisting attempts to force dirty sources of oil such as tar sands and coal-to-liquid to be produced in a more sustainable way. Meanwhile, California, America’s largest transport fuel market, gave renewed backing on Friday to its own ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’: the world’s first.
The battle over how to classify oil extracted from tar sands and oil shale under the EU's fuel quality directive has taken an interesting turn, with California's Air Resources Board writing to the EU climate commissioner telling her not to believe some of the lobbying undertaken by Canada and the oil industry.