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.
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.
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.
by Nusa Urbancic – T&E Policy Officer
One of the least-noted parts of the EU’s ‘climate and energy package’, agreed three years ago, was the Fuel Quality Directive. It should have been better noted because it went straight to the root of one of transport’s biggest problems, namely oil’s increasingly dirty future. It did so by setting a target for reducing lifecycle carbon emissions of petrol and diesel. As such it is a simple, technology-neutral way of encouraging producers of fuel to work towards cleaner products and better extraction methods.
Biofuels produced from palm oil grown in tropical peatlands are a significant source of greenhouse gases. This is the finding of a new study done for the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) which, if taken on board by the EU, would disqualify biofuels from palm oil sources from being counted towards the EU’s renewable fuels target.