The use of palm oil for biodiesel in Europe spiked to an all-time high in 2014. Forty-five percent of all the palm oil used in Europe powered cars and trucks, data obtained by green group Transport & Environment (T&E) revealed. The figures came from EU vegetable oil industry association Fediol, which confirmed the data after T&E’s publication. This is the first time that the sources of biodiesel in Europe have been made public.
Do you know the feeling when you are having a thought that you know cannot be new but you haven’t heard anywhere before? I had it recently when I was asked to speak at a Carnegie event on a report entitled Oil Market Futures. Essentially the report and event revolved around the question on what ‘Paris’ can mean for future oil prices. And the answer is: a lot. If the world indeed follows through on its climate action commitments, the oil price in 2040 would be 24% lower than under business-as-usual.
The EU’s policy of using biodiesel for transport is set to increase Europe’s overall transport emissions by almost 4% instead of cutting CO2 emissions, according to a new analysis of the European Commission’s latest study on biofuels. These extra emissions are equivalent to putting around 12 million additional cars on Europe’s roads in 2020, the analysis by T&E finds. These findings take into account the EU’s 7% cap on the contribution of biofuels produced from food crops.
The phenomenon of indirect land-use change (ILUC) is an even bigger cause of emissions from regular biofuels than first feared. That’s the dramatic finding of a study for the European Commission that was published last month after much delay.
CO2 standards for new vehicles have been proven to work and new targets should be introduced for 2025 and 2030, a report for the European Parliament’s transport committee has said. The limited quantities of available biofuels are also highlighted, while the shift to electric vehicles is ‘inevitable’.
Leaked plans by car and truckmakers to cut carbon emissions of their vehicles in Europe – by resurfacing all roads in the EU at a cost of more than €520 billion – have been criticised as an abdication of the sector’s climate responsibility. Industry body ACEA’s ‘Joining forces’ initiative calls for greater efficiencies through major investments such as in lower rolling resistance tarmac, but fails to identify new CO2 standards for vehicles.
A new ‘EcoAlmanac’ highlighting the sides of ‘clean’ energy that are not always publicised has been launched by T&E’s Romanian member, 2Celsius Network. The online book is aimed at countering false and dubious claims about fuels which may be good for big business in eastern Europe but are not always beneficial for people and the environment.