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Trade deals should enforce environmental protections as much as commercial clauses – study

Any violations of environmental protections in EU trade agreements should be subject to the same state-to-state dispute settlement as violations of the commercial clauses, a new study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. Currently there are practically no ways to enforce and tackle breaches of environmental and sustainability provisions in EU trade agreements, but earlier this month EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced that she wants to make sustainable development chapters of trade agreements more effective.

Published on October 24, 2017 - 00:01

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

Mercosur deal opens door to South American biofuels while palm oil biodiesel use reaches record high

A new EU trade deal with the South American Mercosur trade bloc will open the European market to more imports of ethanol and crops that are used to make high-emitting biofuels. It means that crops and ethanol produced in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay could be used to meet the EU’s green transport fuel targets.

Published on July 11, 2019 - 19:00

The trend worsens: More palm oil for energy, less for food

In 2018, almost two-thirds (65%) of the palm oil imported into the EU was burned as energy. Of that, 53% was used to make biodiesel for cars and trucks and 12% to generate electricity and heating. About a third of all the palm oil consumed in the EU in 2018 was used to produce food, animal feed and other industrial products such as cosmetics. Worryingly, palm oil used for biodiesel grew again last year - by 3% - while the use of palm oil to make food and animal feed dropped by a considerable 11%. This trend proves that the imported deforestation from palm oil is mainly driven by the EU biofuels policy.

Published on June 26, 2019 - 18:53

Almost two-thirds of palm oil consumed in the EU is burned as energy - new data

Europeans are increasingly eating less and less palm oil and instead are inadvertently burning more and more in cars and trucks. Last year 65% of all the palm oil imported into the EU was used for energy. 53% of all palm imports was used to make biodiesel for cars and trucks - an all-time high - and 12% to generate electricity and heating - another record. Palm oil used for biodiesel grew again in 2018 - by 3% - while the use of palm oil to make food and animal feed dropped significantly, by 11%. 

Published on June 26, 2019 - 18:33

Palm oil is not a green fuel, says EU

The use of palm oil in diesel will be gradually reduced from 2023 and should reach zero in 2030, the European Commission has decided. Though some exemptions will remain, palm oil will no longer be counted as a green fuel to meet the EU’s 2030 renewable energy targets as it causes deforestation. T&E said the labelling of palm oil as unsustainable is a milestone in the fight to recognise the climate impact of burning food for energy.

Published on April 16, 2019 - 15:13

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