Rainforests are cleared and burned, people are pushed off their land and endangered species such as the orangutans are dying to allow an expansion in production of palm oil and other food-based biofuels to power our cars.
The negotiations of the new Renewable Energy Directive for 2020-2030 have re-launched the debate on renewable energy in transport, notably on food-based biofuels. The impacts of the EU biofuels policy on climate and environment are poorly informed and understood. This briefing provides a reality check on 10 things that decision makers and citizens do not know about biofuels:1. Four in every five litres of biofuel in the EU is biodiesel2. Around half of EU production of crop biodiesel is based on imports of feedstock, not crops grown by EU farmers3. A third of EU crop biodiesel is made from palm oil, making drivers the top consumers of palm oil in Europe4. EU biodiesel production growth since 2009 has been based on imports and waste oils5. Of all EU rapeseed oil, 60% is consumed in the biodiesel sector6. Palm biodiesel is three times worse for the climate than fossil diesel7. Phasing out palm oil alone is not going to fix the biofuels policy8. The co-production of animal feed cannot justify the support for crop biofuels9. There is an acute lack of transparency about the biofuels used in the EU with data either unavailable or very hard to access10. Most drivers don’t know and are not told they are filling up their car tanks with vegetable oils and other food crops
An analysis of the European Commission’s agriculture data shows that 53% of feedstocks (vegetable oils mainly from rapeseed, palm and soya) used to produce crop biodiesel in EU installations in 2015 was imported, not grown in Europe as the biofuels industry would like people to think. The Transport & Environment (T&E) analysis (Link to Briefing:) also shows that the ethanol industry is a minor player in the EU biofuels market today as four out of every five litres of biofuel consumed in Europe is biodiesel, according to the 2017 EU Energy Statistical Pocketbook.
EU environment ministers today decided to weaken Europe’s proposed new climate law, the Effort Sharing Regulation, and instead called for loopholes and flexibilities that would result in a net increase of carbon emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said it’s now up to MEPs and the European Commission to resist national governments’ watering down of the draft in order to prevent a net emissions increase of 38 megatonnes of CO2 (Mt CO2e) compared to the EU’s 2005 emissions. 
Road transport is one of the few EU sectors where CO2 emissions continue to grow. To address the problem, the Commission plans to publish its proposals on car and van CO2 standards in November, followed by fuel efficiency standards for trucks in early 2018. Using its new EUTRM model, Transport & Environment has analysed the emission reductions of different ambition levels and their contribution to help achieve the 2030 non-ETS targets required from road transport. The key results are:
Platform for Electro-Mobility reaction to European Parliament ITRE commitee vote on EPBDToday MEPs voted for electric vehicle charging points to be required in all new non-residential buildings. As they are more frequented than private buildings, large non-residential buildings ensure high visibility for and intensive use of EV charging points, the Platform for Electro-Mobility  said, welcoming the European Parliament industry committee's decision.
The protocol initiated by Groupe PSA to give a fair and clear information to Peugeot, Citroen and DS customers, receives the « ECOBEST 2017 » award for the relevance of its project. The protocol is representative of the average customer consumption, reproducible, and robust. It was co-developed with two ONGs, T&E and FNE, under the supervision of Bureau Veritas which has verified the accuracy and integrity of the results.
A new report by T&E has concluded that any preferential access for the United Kingdom to the EU’s internal market must be conditional on the UK agreeing to respect EU environmental standards and climate targets after Brexit. The report, Putting the Environment at the Heart of Brexit, says Britain must not be allowed to gain any advantage through ‘environmental dumping’.
The bodies that enforce the Aarhus Convention, which guarantees public access to information and justice in environmental matters, have ruled that the EU is not compliant with the convention and is showing a lack of respect for the rule of law on environmental justice.
Almost three-quarters (71%) of all new containerships, which emit around a quarter of global ship CO2 emissions, already comply with the post-2025 requirements of the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), a new study reveals. Additionally, the best 10% of new containerships are already almost twice as efficient as the requirement for 10 years time. These findings are part of a study based on analysis of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) own data and conducted by Transport & Environment (T&E), a founding member of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC).