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Green groups sue Commission over withheld biofuels docs

On Monday 8 March 2010, a coalition of environmental groups filed a legal action against the European Commission over its refusal to release documents. The documents contain previously undisclosed information on the negative climate impacts of widespread biofuels use in the EU. The lawsuit, brought by ClientEarth, Transport & Environment, the European Environmental Bureau, and BirdLife International, alleges several violations of European laws designed to promote transparency, democracy, and legitimacy in EU policy-making.

Shifting ground under tar sands?

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The Dutch oil company Shell says it is scaling down its expansion into oil from tar sands, amid signs that the environmental disadvantages of ‘unconventional’ oil sources are leading to fears that such oils could be economically unviable. While Shell says it has confidence in enough conventional sources of oil, soaring costs in the tar sands region of Alberta, where it has invested in an oil project, have made further investment there less attractive.

Commission withholding key research on environmental impacts of biofuels

The European Commission is refusing to release scientific research on EU biofuel policies, frustrating efforts to bring to light the environmental damage that would result from current biofuel policies. The research is likely to confirm the findings of numerous scientific studies that show several types of biofuels cause more emissions than conventional fossil fuels (1).

Biofuels reports: separating the good from the bad and the ugly

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The worst biofuels can emit 2000% more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels, while the best can genuinely cut down on emissions. Those are two conclusions of a new United Nations report, one of several papers published in the last month that reaffirm that only certain biofuels can be environmentally beneficial – and only then if produced in certain ways.