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Navigating our way out of the biofuels quagmire

The discussion about Europe’s biofuels policy is in full swing and the biofuels industry has assembled an impressive lobbying army to spread the gospel. Hardly a day goes by without the biofuels industry organising some event to promote the benefits of biodiesel and ethanol. This is a good indication of how important EU legislation is for biofuel producers. Indeed, growing crops and then turning them into fuels to burn in combustion engines is a costly and inefficient business. The truth is the biofuels industry was created and survives on generous and sustained support in the form of mandates, tax breaks and subsidies.

Published on October 3, 2017 - 23:00

Is renewable gas another biofuels disaster waiting to happen?

Recently the gas sector has been playing up the role of or renewable gas in decarbonising the European Economy. The industry says biogas, biomethane, renewable hydrogen and renewable methane – supported through policy – can help bring about a decarbonised economy. This lobby offensive is gaining some traction, with the Romanian presidency and 17 other EU countries launching a declaration claiming gas networks are needed “to accommodate increasing shares of near-zero carbon hydrogen and renewable gases”. Amongst all that talk of “green gas”, one question beckons: have people been paying attention to the biofuels debacle at all?

Published on May 8, 2019 - 20:58

The human cost of the EU biofuels policy – Hernán Bedoya

Environmental destruction costs human lives too. On 8 December an NGO friend phoned me up with the shocking news that Colombian community leader and land claimant Hernán Bedoya had been assassinated, reportedly by paramilitary groups. It was a tragic reminder that campaigning to stop deforestation is as much about protecting the livelihoods and homes of the communities that have been living in those habitats for centuries as it is about combating climate change and protecting endangered species.

Published on January 10, 2018 - 23:23

Does car sharing really reduce car use?

The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs on average €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not enough – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.

Published on August 8, 2017 - 10:36

Rail freight: the customer is always right

T&E have been managing a rail freight platform since 2015. This platform has provided us with the opportunity to meet with key stakeholders in rail and organise workshops to discuss some of the main setbacks to modal shift. The blog below is the first in a series that will outline what we have learned about why rail freight is not growing in Europe at the rate needed. This series of blogs will also offer some suggestions on how policymakers can play a bigger role in supporting modal shift as a means to decarbonise transport.
Published on January 27, 2017 - 17:46

We’re on the right path but need a stronger push towards EVs

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more competitive, mainly because battery prices have fallen 65% since 2010 and are forecasted to fall to $230 per kWh in 2017-2018. Batteries are also becoming more powerful as they gain in energy density. Moreover, these improvements were recently reinforced by other significant developments: the unveiling by Tesla of its Model 3 is making high-spec electric cars more accessible; and the Netherlands, Norway and Germany’s public support for the rollout of electric vehicles.

Published on May 25, 2016 - 12:10

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