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.
With drivers ditching their diesel cars in view of an increasing number of city bans and low-emissions zones in Western Europe, many of these dirty cars now end up in Central & Eastern EU Member States. This means the air quality problems will be exported, not solved, thus deepening the East-West divide that already exists on air quality in Europe. Bulgaria is case in point. This briefing details the impact of dirty diesels heading east to Bulgaria.
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.
Speech delivered by Jos Dings, T&E director, at the European Parliament Transport Committee’s hearing on the White Paper on Transport on 17 March 2015.
This paper sets out why a cross-vehicle, cross-modal strategy to accelerate the electrification of transport – a shift towards sustainable e-mobility – should be an essential part of Europe’s ambition to achieve an energy union. It would also bring the benefits of reduced oil imports and transport CO2 emissions as well as stimulate innovation and jobs.
This briefing summarises a legal analysis highlighting how the proposals are contrary to the requirements of the current ETS Directive. It also covers new research illustrating why including transport in the ETS would be counterproductive; compared with a scenario of ambitious post-2020 vehicle CO2 standards there would be 160,000 fewer jobs, and €22/77 billion higher oil imports in 2030/2050. Climate policy, as well as transport emissions reductions, would stall.