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.
Last July, the European Commission’s Strategy for Low Emission Mobility promised a ‘phaseout of food-based biofuels’. However, this promise of a phase-out is not visible in Annex X of a leaked draft proposal of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The leak points to the Commission’s intention to keep 3.8% of 1G biofuels in transport fuels in 2030. This is only 1.1 percentage point less than the 4.9% share of 1G biofuels in transport in 2014. In this briefing T&E analyses: how much would the Commission’s draft proposal increase EU transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the 2021-2030 period compared to a ‘proper’ phase-out of 1G biofuels?; how much underestimation of EU transport GHG emissions in the 2021-2030 period would the draft proposal lead to – as a result of the zero-counting of biofuels – compared to a ‘proper’ phase-out of 1G fuels?
This summer, the European Commission will present new targets for member states’ Effort Sharing Decision sectors for the period 2021 to 2030 and publish a communication on decarbonising transport. The ESD sets an overall EU climate target of -30% by 2030 below 2005 levels for sectors not included under the EU emissions trading system (non-ETS emissions) – mainly surface transport, buildings and agriculture. The ESD requires member states to limit their GHG emissions by meeting individual binding annual limits. This ‘recipe for Spain’ serves as a guideline on how to reduce emissions from transport and secure the climate target.
This summer, the European Commission will present new targets for member states’ Effort Sharing Decision sectors for the period 2021 to 2030 and publish a communication on decarbonising transport. Germany’s anticipated 2030 reduction target for all sectors covered by the ESD will be -39%. Thus, Germany will have to decrease its transport emissions to 97 MtCO2 eq by 2030. This ‘recipe for Germany’ serves as a guideline on how to reduce emissions from transport and secure the climate target.
Europe is starting to consider what its energy policy for transport should be for the 2020-2030 period and especially what it should do with biofuels as part of that. Following its reform of EU biofuel policy to take account of ILUC, the European Commission decided more research on land-use change emissions was needed. The result is the so-called Globiom report, which calculates land-use change (LUC) emissions resulting from additional demand for biofuels in Europe.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) that, if completed, would be the largest bilateral FTA in the world, and transform transatlantic commerce. Trade volumes between the EU and US are very high, energy remains an important exception, largely due to the US ban or limit on crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Unsurprisingly the focus of EU negotiators is to end these limitations, but if the hope of cheap energy is one side of the coin, there is another: cheaper fossil energy means higher carbon emissions from increased consumption while crowding out renewable sources, all of which runs counter to the EU’s ‘40/27/27’ climate and energy targets for 2030.
The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.
This paper, as well as the attached explanatory briefing, attempts to quantify the challenge for EU member states in reducing transport emissions under the expected 2030 ‘effort sharing decision’ (ESD) and the extent to which CO2 standards for cars, vans and trucks can help achieve those targets. It makes very clear what the impacts are of mandating, or not, improved vehicle efficiency.
The European Union established a 20% target for renewable energy use by 2020 and a 10% target for renewables in the transport sector by 2020. Bioenergy, including solid biomass and waste, is expected to represent 60% of the EU’s renewable energy use and biofuels is expected to cover most of the 10% renewable energy use in transport. Widely perceived as carbon neutral, new studies reveal that these policies could be increasing emissions compared to fossil fuels.