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VIDEO - Why are most biofuels worse for the climate than fossil fuels?

Today, biofuels are mainly made from food crops and need large areas of land to be produced. Since most agricultural land is already being used to produce food for people, new areas have to be found to meet the ever-increasing demand for food and animal feed. This leads to deforestation and draining of rich ecosystems, releasing tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Published on June 26, 2017 - 14:54

Lead MEP wants full climate impact of biofuels accounted for

The full climate impact of biofuels used in Europe would have to be accounted for by countries for the first time, the European Parliament’s lead member on biofuels reform has proposed. If passed, the reform would mean high-emitting biofuels – mainly food-based biodiesel such as palm oil or rapeseed – would be disqualified from use in EU cars and trucks.
Published on June 8, 2017 - 14:33

Just three EU countries showing climate ambition in line with Paris agreement

Only three European countries are pursuing climate policies that could deliver on the promises made at the Paris climate conference, according to a new ranking published by T&E and NGO Carbon Market Watch. Sweden, Germany and France top the ranking, which is based on the ambition being shown by member states as they negotiate the terms of the EU’s most powerful climate tool, the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR).

Published on April 6, 2017 - 12:12

Parliament places early phase-out of vegetable oil biofuels firmly on the agenda

EU governments and MEPs are under pressure to consider phasing out the use of vegetable oils for biofuels by as early as 2020 after the European Parliament backed the move in a non-binding resolution this week. The Council and Parliament are currently drafting their common positions on reform of the Renewable Energy Directive, which will decide Europe’s biofuels policy up to 2030.

Published on April 6, 2017 - 11:40

U-turn on phase-out of food-based biofuels

Food-based biofuels can still be counted towards the EU’s renewable energy target, the European Commission has proposed – in a stunning U-turn on its commitment to phase-out first-generation biofuels that are worse for the climate than fossil fuels. Member states will be able to use a maximum 3.8% share of food-based biofuels in transport towards the Renewable Energy Directive’s target for 2030, barely reduced from the current 4.9% market share at EU level.

Published on January 9, 2017 - 19:29

Solar and wind power keep breaking cost records – but Poland and Hungary resist

A new solar energy scheme is set to record yet another record-low price for zero-carbon energy. In a year when advances in renewable energy technology have pushed prices for solar and wind energy down to levels once not considered possible, a cross-border solar project between Germany and Denmark has been agreed at a price of 5.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Published on December 18, 2016 - 20:46

Electricity and transport’s ‘coupling’ needs more work

By Jelena Simjanovic, clean energy directorWHAT I LEARNED IN 2016: I joined T&E in late summer, soon after the European Commission published its Low-emission Mobility Strategy. Its goals looked promising: increasing efficiency of the transport system; speeding up the development of low-emission alternative energy for transport; and moving towards zero-emission vehicles. While I had a general idea about biofuels and sustainability issues around them, I entered the transport world after 10 years of working on a variety of energy sector issues and carbon markets. I feel privileged to have a job where I can learn as much as I have learned in the past five months, while at the same time utilising my extensive knowledge of the electricity and energy markets for the discussion on transport electrification and development.

Published on December 16, 2016 - 18:06

Outlook bleak for the oil industry

When oil prices were rising fast, some 10 years ago, the idea of ‘peak oil’ re-emerged – the (false) idea that the world’s oil supplies were about to run out. Several recent publications now hint at an entirely different kind of ‘peak oil’ – one caused by shortfall in demand, not supply.

Published on November 10, 2016 - 15:43

Dramatic deforestation highlights EU ‘folly’ on biofuels

Some of the world’s most valuable forests are still being destroyed in order to make palm oil, of which a considerable portion ends up as biodiesel for use on Europe’s roads. That is the striking message from an investigation by a global alliance of NGOs, including T&E, that has uncovered horrific deforestation in Indonesia’s pristine rainforest in the remote province of Papua. T&E says this highlights the urgent need for the EU to correct the anomalies in European legislation that allow climate-harming biofuels to count towards climate targets.

Published on September 2, 2016 - 17:23

Sustainable’ biofuels certification challenged by EU auditors

The EU’s certification system for the sustainability of biofuels is ‘not fully reliable’, the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the independent EU body in charge of scrutinising Europe’s public spending, has said. In a report in July it found that the certification system ‘did not adequately cover some important aspects necessary to ensure the sustainability of biofuels’  The majority of ‘sustainable’ EU biofuels are certified through European Commission-recognised voluntary schemes.
Published on September 2, 2016 - 10:59

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