This is T&E's report on why Europe’s obsession with diesel cars is bad for its economy, its drivers and the environment.
The EU is negotiating trade deals with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Indonesia, and soon Malaysia, These trade deals represent a risk for the EU’s sustainable transport plans. All mentioned countries are producers and exporters of crop-based biofuels, especially from palm and soybean oil that have higher overall emissions than fossil diesel. All ongoing negotiations include chapters on energy and raw materials.
This report assesses how the EU and Nordic countries could achieve zero GHG road freight and buses by 2050. The report analysed “off the shelf” technologies and strategies (defined as low hanging fruit), such as improving fuel efficiency in diesel trucks or moving more freight into railways. In addition, it also assessed how we could move beyond “low hanging fruit” and fully decarbonise the road freight sector. For this we looked at technologies such as catenary-hybrid, battery electric, hydrogen and power to liquid. All of this information was fed into T&E’s in-house transport model.
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?
This report, released on the first anniversary of the Dieselgate scandal, exposes the shocking number of dirty diesel cars on the EU’s roads and the feeble regulation of cars by national authorities that have focused on protecting their own commercial interests or those of domestic carmakers. In the US, following the disclosure that VW had cheated emissions tests, justice has been swiftly and effectively delivered. This is in stark contrast to Europe where VW claims it has not acted illegally, no penalties have been levied and no compensation has been provided to customers.
When the European Commission published its five-year ‘Trade for All Strategy’ in October 2015, there was hope that trade policy could be overhauled. Building on our analysis of the ‘Trade for All Strategy’ from February 2016, we have graded the Commission's achievements to date. Our overall assessment gives the Commission a D grade. Although some good progress was made, there is significant room for improvement. We acknowledge that while the Commission’s attitude is going in the right direction, application of the real deliverables remains to be seen.
Since the 1990s, international climate agreements have largely taken a country-by-country approach to mitigating climate change. However, in recent years, the conclusion of numerous bilateral or regional trade and investment agreements has led to an exponential growth in the global flows of goods and capital across borders. This growth has translated into a significant increase in emissions that cannot be bound to a single country. Thus, actions designed to tackle climate change require a new set of tools and strategies. The following joint-report offers a set of complementary options that could be implemented to tackle climate impacts.
Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) is a CO2 emissions reduction programme for airports managed by industry association Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe). It encourages airports to monitor and either reduce or offset their emissions. Our analysis finds that, while encouraging emission reductions and aiming towards carbon neutrality at airports in Europe is important and welcome, the ACA lacks transparency and the strict rules that are required to ensure offsets credits used actually deliver emission reductions. In many cases, airports are using offset credits which are ineligible under EU climate laws due to concerns as to their environmental integrity.
Sustainable development has become one of the EU’s essential goals and is now a guiding principle for both its internal and external policies. As part of this ambition, the European Commission includes specific chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development in all free trade agreements (FTA) that it concludes with third country partners. Due to the controversy surrounding trade in recent years (for example, TTIP and CETA), the European Commission has started to recognise that there needs to be stronger coherence between trade and development policies. This paper looks at how the Trade and Sustainable Development chapters could play a crucial role in this.
The European Union and the United Kingdom are negotiating an agreement to ensure the UK’s orderly exit out of the Union and to agree on their future relationship. During the current Brexit negotiations, the European Commission has stated multiple times that its primary focus is on citizens and their rights and as negotiations proceed, the interests of business and market stability will be addressed. But where, then, does the environment feature? This report sets out the guiding principles for putting the environment at the heart of the Brexit talks.