This briefing outlines how, more than a year since the VW scandal broke and almost a year since the new reform of EU testing system was proposed, there is minimal progress to tackle the legacy of dirty diesel cars on the road. No action whatsoever has been taken to reduce the emissions of 80% of the most grossly emitting diesel cars. Out of the 20% of cars subject to some recalls. The briefing also outlines how the latest leaked documents reveal that the majority of member states are also trying to block and weaken any future reform on the newly proposed Type Approval Framework Regulation, stripping the Commission of any powers to do independent checks on in-use vehicles.
The use of palm oil for biodiesel has been increasing in the EU - 3.35 Million tonnes of it was used in 2015. Currently 46% of palm oil imported to the EU is used for biodiesel, requiring around 1 million hectares of tropical land. The three largest producers of palm oil biodiesel are Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, accounting for 80% of production. Italy and Spain are also large users, while the Netherlands exports most of its palm biodiesel. The three countries consume 38% of what they produce, while the remaining 62% is used in the rest of the EU member states - thus making palm oil use a European issue.
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?
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
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:
- Even the most ambitious standards analysed only deliver half the reductions required from road transport in 2030, leaving member states with a large CO2 gap to close with additional policies.
- Without intermediary targets in 2025 much CO2 reduction is delayed, halving the cumulative emissions cuts by 2030 and jeopardising achieving the ESR goals cost-effectively.
Ambitious CO2 standards of 45% reduction for cars and 40% for vans in 2030, with mandatory targets in 2025, are cost-effective and essential for member states to comply with the Effort Sharing Regulation and for Europe to achieve its 2030 climate goals.
As the European Parliament and national governments discuss amendments to the proposed EU directive on monitoring and reporting truck CO2 emissions, T&E joined a coalition of eight hauliers' associations and French logistics company Schenker France in a letter (downloadable below) calling for the proposal to be strengthened as follows.
This paper analyses what the impact of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) text proposed by the Estonian presidency, to be discussed by EU environment ministers on 13 October 2017, will be on greenhouse gas emissions. The conclusion is clear: the proposed text is far from reaching the maximum potential that this most important European climate reform could attain. Ministers have a last opportunity to try to increase the ambition of the text, to at least match the ambition of the European Parliament. Without an ambitious ESR, the chances of the EU sticking to the Paris agreement commitments decrease considerably.
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).
This report finds that while there is still plenty of potential to improve truck fuel efficiency, market forces alone will not do the job.
The automotive sector is on the brink of a major disruption and car makers are about to see “... more change in the next five years than [we’ve seen] in the last 50 years.” One of these shifts is from internal combustion engines to electric mobility.