European governments today gave the green light to a political deal to amend the EU’s biofuels policy. The compromise by ambassadors, which must now be signed off by energy ministers, caps the use of food-based biofuels that are eligible to count towards carbon reduction targets to 7% of transport fuel – higher than the original 5% cap as proposed by the Commission in 2012, and not much below the 8.6% expected under the original 2020 target.
A project to create the world’s first ‘sustainable motorway’ has been launched in the Netherlands by two environmental organisations, T&E members Milieudefensie and Natuur & Milieu.
The first shipment of highly polluting Canadian tar sands oil to Europe is due to arrive in Spain tomorrow (Thursday May 29). Environment groups Friends of the Earth Europe, Transport & Environment and Greenpeace warn that this delivery provides a snapshot of Europe’s energy future – a continued addiction to ever-dirtier oil.
Shell ranked third in the list of oil companies with the largest exposure to high-cost, high-carbon tar sands production, according to a new report. The analysis found that Shell has almost $26 billion (€19 billion) in planned investments in tar sands extraction for the next decade, which will only see a return if the barrel of oil costs more than $95 – a price tag that assumes world governments won’t fulfil their pledge to tackle global warming and strong oil demand.
Five out of seven European carmakers are on track to meet their CO2 targets by the 2021 deadline if they keep progressing as they have since the introduction of the law in 2008, T&E’s 2014 cars and CO2 report reveals. The report, in its 9th edition, monitors the annual progress made by vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars.
The EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit on average 130 grams of CO₂ per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km by 2021. This briefing, the first part of T&E’s ‘How clean are Europe’s cars 2014’, analyses the official data from the European Environment Agency on progress towards these targets made by carmakers in 2013. The second and third part of the report will cover electric vehicles and supercredits as well as the gap between carmakers claimed fuel economy and the real world figure.
Representatives of EU Member States today reached an agreement on changing weights and dimensions rules for lorry cabins. The provisional agreement sets a delay of eight years  before redesigned lorry cabs can be driven on Europe’s roads, even though design changes could save hundreds of lives and billions of litres of diesel fuel. The call for a long delay was led by France and Sweden in an effort to shield national lorry makers Renault and Volvo, and was adopted despite opposition from other countries like the UK, Germany and Denmark.
Norway and the Netherlands are the world’s leading countries for electric car use, but also the countries that spend most money making e-vehicles attractive to buyers. These are the findings of a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) on the take-up of electric vehicles. T&E says the report shows that money alone will not grow the electric car market.
A new report showing what effect climate change is having on the US has been published by the Obama administration. Some environmental groups hope it will make the American political climate more receptive to action to reduce greenhouse gases, but environmental action still faces considerable opposition.
Carbon emissions of the average van sold in Europe fell 3.8% in 2013 to 173g/km, according to official figures published today by the European Environmental Agency (EEA). This means that Europe’s vans achieved their 2017 target of 175g/km four years ahead of schedule – the result of an extremely weak and unambitious target set in 2010 and confirmed by MEPs in 2013.