Transport is Europe's biggest climate problem accounting for 27% of its GHG emissions in 2017. This report summarises a series of studies by Transport & Environment. (T&E analysed pathways for decarbonisation in the road freight, aviation, shipping and car sectors.) It demonstrates that transport can and must be decarbonised by 2050 at the very latest, not only to limit global warming but also to ensure Europe's competitiveness, its energy sovereignty and the health and well-being of its 500 million citizens.
More than half of the palm oil imported into the EU is used to make biodiesel for cars and trucks. Palm oil used for biodiesel has increased sharply over the last years while food consumption of palm oil is declining.
Policies to promote food based biofuels do lead to increases in food prices, an extensive independent literature review has concluded. The analysis considered over one hundred economic modelling studies of the potential impact on prices of increased biofuel demand and over two dozen assessments of the role biofuels demand played in the 2006-08 food price crisis.
European heads of state have agreed that in 2030, 27% of Europe’s energy should come from renewable sources. Not all renewables are sustainable though; for instance, food-based biofuels as well as burning whole trees imported from the US in EU power plants has come in for a lot of criticism.
The EU is entering in the final round of negotiations on the REDII. One of the outstanding issues to be agreed between EU Parliament, the Council and Commission is palm oil biodiesel. In January 2018 the Parliament voted in favor of phasing out support to biodiesel based on palm oil as of 2021, which is a step in the right direction. However, this decision is being contested by the Council and also by the palm oil-producing countries - especially Malaysia and Indonesia.
At the meeting of the ITRE Committee on 28th November, MEPs will be voting on the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED, 2016/0382/COD). In the letter here below, the main environmental NGOs in Brussels express their concern about the adoption of a new target for crop based biofuels, in the form of a new target for renewable energy in transport.
T&E, as well over 100 other organisations signed up to an open letter to EU decision makers on EU biofuels policy. Urgent action is needed to halt the expansion of land-based biofuels (i.e. biofuels, or agrofuels, made from food crops or dedicated energy crops) which bring few or no climate benefits while putting extra pressure on scarce land resources, especially for food and feed.