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EU motorists forced to burn more palm oil and rainforest to meet green energy targets – new data

The use of palm oil for EU biofuels dwarfs the amount used to make cookies, hazelnut spreads, ice cream, shampoo, lipsticks – and other food and cosmetic products. That’s according to new industry data which shows diesel cars and trucks burned 51% of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017.

Published on June 7, 2018 - 16:02

Enrico Letta, Pascal Lamy and Hans Eichel urge European leaders to use a green tax shift to fix the EU budget

The EU should fill its post-Brexit budget gap with new revenues from taxing transport, which is Europe’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, ex-WTO head Pascal Lamy, former finance minister of Germany Hans Eichel and 14 other economists have told EU leaders. In advocating a green tax shift, they called for a higher minimum tax on road diesel, VAT on airline tickets for the first time and taxing aviation kerosene which is currently exempt. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment welcomed the letter, citing its own analysis that such a green tax shift would generate additional revenues of more than €50 billion a year which would allow for the income tax burden to be reduced.

Published on February 22, 2018 - 11:52

Will European trade undermine the EU’s move to clean biofuels?

The EU is negotiating trade deals with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Indonesia, and soon Malaysia, These trade deals represent a risk for the EU’s sustainable transport plans. All mentioned countries are producers and exporters of crop-based biofuels, especially from palm and soybean oil that have higher overall emissions than fossil diesel. All ongoing negotiations include chapters on energy and raw materials.

Published on July 6, 2017 - 15:09

Parliament to decide next week on strengthening key EU climate law

The European Parliament will vote next week on whether to strengthen the proposal for Europe’s key climate law, the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – or ‘Climate Action Regulation’, the name agreed by the environment committee. MEPs will be asked to back a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and to close some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.

Published on June 8, 2017 - 17:47

Frequently asked questions on the ESR Safety/Early Action Reserve

The Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) defines the carbon budget for EU member states for the non-traded sectors (surface transport, buildings, agriculture, small industry and waste) until 2030. If the ESR’s headline goal of -30% compared to 2005 is undermined through loopholes, the ESR will not lead to real-world emission reductions in those sectors. This FAQ is aimed at bringing clarity to one element being discussed during the negotiations: the ESR Safety/Early Action Reserve.

Published on May 29, 2017 - 17:56

Emission reduction strategies for the transport sector in Spain

Spain has to reduce its non-ETS greenhouse gas emissions by 26% in 2030, and transport is the highest emitter within these non-ETS sectors. As a result, and also to comply with the EU's long-term decarbonisation goals and the Paris agreement, Spain must take urgent and robust action to reduce the emissions in transport. In this report for the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), T&E analyses and proposes a series of key actions that Spain should undertake to decarbonise transport.

Published on July 9, 2018 - 12:11

Air pollution on the rise in Spain

Some 97% of Spain’s population is being exposed to harmful levels of air pollution, a report by T&E’s Spanish member Ecologistas en Acción shows. The economic recovery has brought an increase in the use of diesel for cars, airplane jet fuel, and coal to generate electricity. The main source of pollution in urban areas, where most of the population lives, is road traffic.

Published on July 2, 2018 - 15:34

Making palm oil a poster child for free trade would be a spectacular own goal

“As expected” mumbled Commission president Juncker when an aide passed him a note saying Trump had decided to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminium. The American administration had been playing with the Europeans for nearly two months but threats of retaliation, offers of new trade deals (TTIP light), and a grand visit from the French president had done nothing to dissuade US president Donald Trump.

Published on June 7, 2018 - 15:22

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