Browse by topic: Briefing, Climate Change and Energy


Europe keeps burning more palm oil in its diesel cars and trucks

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.

Published on November 25, 2016 - 09:21

What to expect from ICAO assembly’s talks on a climate deal for aviation

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.

Published on September 28, 2016 - 17:06

Phasing-out palm oil biodiesel is compatible with WTO due to its climate and environmental impacts

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.

Published on March 12, 2019 - 12:57

Domestic aviation fuel tax in the EU

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.

Published on January 10, 2019 - 14:23

EU cars CO2 regulation and plug-in hybrid cars

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.   

Published on November 28, 2018 - 09:54