The use of palm oil for biodiesel has been increasing in the EU - 3.35 Million tonnes of it was used in 2015. Currently 46% of palm oil imported to the EU is used for biodiesel, requiring around 1 million hectares of tropical land. The three largest producers of palm oil biodiesel are Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, accounting for 80% of production. Italy and Spain are also large users, while the Netherlands exports most of its palm biodiesel. The three countries consume 38% of what they produce, while the remaining 62% is used in the rest of the EU member states - thus making palm oil use a European issue.
European heads of state have agreed that in 2030, 27% of Europe’s energy should come from renewable sources. Not all renewables are sustainable though; for instance, food-based biofuels as well as burning whole trees imported from the US in EU power plants has come in for a lot of criticism.
Aviation is a substantial and growing driver of climate change, currently responsible for almost 5% of global warming. The objectives of the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without action to rein in its emissions growth. This T&E briefing outlines how, at its triennial assembly, ICAO has an opportunity to adopt a global market-based measure which can be a starting point for greater global ambition. However, negotiations dominated by the need to protect industry and favour historic emitters is weakening the prospect of a credible deal.
This briefing explores the aviation sector's status as one of the most undertaxed in Europe and examines the supposed legal obstacles to ending this annomally. It outlines a number of recommendations for EU governments and the EU to remedy this situation.
As the transition to electric vehicles is gaining speed in Europe and globally, demand for cobalt has jumped over past years and will significantly increase in the future. This trend is expected to mostly impact the mining landscape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as the country accounts for around ⅔ of global cobalt production.
In the context of the EU recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), the European co-legislators asked the Commission to develop a methodology to identify high ILUC risk biofuels with a significant expansion into high-carbon stock areas. These high ILUC risk biofuels would be frozen and then fully phased-out of the EU renewable targets by the year 2030. Some parties have raised questions regarding the compatibility of these measures with international trade rules.
Latest electric passenger car sales data from 2018 shows that the US has overtaken Europe in the numbers of electric vehicles (EV1) sold, by around 60,000 units. This is despite the EU being much more committed to climate action than the US where the Trump administration is dismantling.
This paper will consider the legal possibilities for imposing a tax on the fuel used in EU member states' domestic aviation. It will consider the relevant treaties and laws: the Chicago Convention, the EU ETS, the Energy Taxation Directive, and the Excise Duty Directive. It reaches the conclusion that taxation can be imposed on fuel used in domestic aviation without legal impediment. It should be noted at the outset that this question has been considered before by the UK Parliament and by Prof Eckhard Pache for the German Federal Environment Agency, both of which came to the conclusion that taxing domestic aviation fuel in the EU was perfectly legal.
The first briefing evaluates the impact of the design of the post-2020 CO2 standards for cars on the evolution of the zero and low emission (ZLEV) market in Europe and particularly plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs). The second one updates a previous analysis (published in August 2018) summarising how carmakers can manipulate future WLTP tests, and presents a detailed solution to stop test manipulation using fuel consumption meters.
The European Parliament, Council and the Commission are in the final stage of negotiations on the 2025/2030 CO2 standards for new cars and vans. This briefing analyses the impact of the two Council amendments to change the counting of zero and low emission vehicles (ZLEVs).