The use of palm oil for EU biofuels dwarfs the amount used to make cookies, hazelnut spreads, ice cream, shampoo, lipsticks – and other food and cosmetic products. That’s according to new industry data which shows diesel cars and trucks burned 51% of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017.
Instead of helping the environment, most biofuels actually hurt it. Biodiesel is the most consumed biofuel in Europe today. The problem? European food-based biodiesel emits, on average, 80% more CO2 than fossil diesel.
The European Parliament will vote next week on whether to strengthen the proposal for Europe’s key climate law, the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – or ‘Climate Action Regulation’, the name agreed by the environment committee. MEPs will be asked to back a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and to close some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
The European Union relies on foreign companies to supply 80% of its oil imports, according to a new study on the continent’s oil dependency. Russian firms supply more than one-third (36%) of imported crude, and just two of the top 10 oil suppliers to the EU are European – Shell and Norway’s Statoil.
The use of palm oil in diesel will be gradually reduced from 2023 and should reach zero in 2030, the European Commission has decided. Though some exemptions will remain, palm oil will no longer be counted as a green fuel to meet the EU’s 2030 renewable energy targets as it causes deforestation. T&E said the labelling of palm oil as unsustainable is a milestone in the fight to recognise the climate impact of burning food for energy.
Pressure is mounting on EU officials to remove several loopholes in its plan to phase out subsidies for biodiesel produced from palm oil. Earlier this month the European Commission took the landmark decision to stop palm biodiesel from counting towards meeting EU renewable energy targets. But, facing trade war threats from the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia, it included an exemption for additional palm oil produced in independent small plantations (less than five hectares) or produced on ‘unused’ land.
Palm oil expansion is increasing deforestation, ravaging some of the planet’s remaining rainforests and our most precious wildlife.But we can change this! Click here to sign the petition.
More than 320,000 citizens have added their voices to the campaign to stop subsidising the use of palm-oil biodiesel in Europe’s cars and trucks. The #NotInMyTank petition calls on the European Commission to ensure the phase-out of biodiesel made from palm oil – as it is required to do under the recently revised Renewable Energy Directive.
Powering Europe’s transport with fossil gas – widely known as ‘natural’ gas – would emit as much greenhouse gases as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels, a new T&E report has found. Fossil gas cars also emit as much air pollution as petrol ones and their limited advantage over new diesels that comply with the latest emissions standards could be eliminated by the planned introduction of new Euro VII/7 standards, the research shows. Yet, by taxing gas for transport at a rates much lower than petrol and diesel, European lawmakers are incentivising the use of this fossil fuel.