What to do with biofuels? This simple question has given many European policymakers huge headaches for a decade now. Two subsequent, dragged-out legal processes to first promote them (2006-2009), and then to contain food-based ones (2012-2015) left no-one happy. NGOs warned that the problems were still not solved, while industry maintained that all investment security was gone.
When oil prices were rising fast, some 10 years ago, the idea of ‘peak oil’ re-emerged – the (false) idea that the world’s oil supplies were about to run out. Several recent publications now hint at an entirely different kind of ‘peak oil’ – one caused by shortfall in demand, not supply.
The European Commission is currently working on a new Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and a new bioenergy sustainability policy for the period 2020-2030, which will have implications on the long-term pathway to decarbonise transport fuels. At the end of October, T&E, together with BirdLife Europe, ActionAid and Fern, wrote a letter to the European Commission to highlight their recommendations for a post 2020 sustainable low carbon transport fuels policy. We encourage the European Commission to phase-out food-based biofuels by 2030 and to prioritize a GHG-based target over a blending mandate for incentivizing truly low carbon advanced fuels and electricity.
This paper outlines the common views of 11 NGOs, including Transport & Environment, for a sustainable bioenergy policy for the EU's 2020-2030 renewable energy policy framework . To ensure bioenergy is genuinely sustainable, comprehensive safeguards need to be introduced which check that bioenergy is truly low carbon, resource efficient and avoids negative consequences on biodiversity, soil, water, land use and people.
Some of the world’s most valuable forests are still being destroyed in order to make palm oil, of which a considerable portion ends up as biodiesel for use on Europe’s roads. That is the striking message from an investigation by a global alliance of NGOs, including T&E, that has uncovered horrific deforestation in Indonesia’s pristine rainforest in the remote province of Papua. T&E says this highlights the urgent need for the EU to correct the anomalies in European legislation that allow climate-harming biofuels to count towards climate targets.
Merauke, Papua, Indonesia (1 September, 2016) -- A groundbreaking new investigation of the palm oil industry was released today by the new environmental organization Mighty, the Korean Federation for Environmental Movements (KFEM), the Indonesian humanitarian organizations SKP-KAMe Merauke and PUSAKA, Rainforest Foundation Norway and Transport & Environment. It reveals new satellite, photographic, and video evidence of massive deforestation and illegal burning of pristine rainforest by the Korean-Indonesian corporation Korindo, to support establishment of its palm oil plantations on the Indonesian provinces of Papua and North Maluku.
National emissions-reduction targets proposed for the transport, agriculture and buildings sectors include loopholes that would put their delivery at serious risk, environmental groups have warned. The regulation proposed by the European Commission will determine how member states share the burden of meeting the EU’s climate goals by 2030.