European climate and energy policies are built on the myth that all bioenergy - being a renewable energy source - is good for the climate and good for the environment. As the use of bioenergy in the EU is expected to more than double by 2020 compared to 2005, it’s becoming clear that bioenergy is not the clean dream we all hoped it would be. In some cases it can even increase CO2 emissions (compared to fossil fuels) and in numerous instances it threatens nature by putting additional pressure on already burdened agricultural land and forests.
MEPs today voted to increase the ambition of the EU’s most powerful climate law, the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). While the ESR still fails to meet the aims of the Paris agreement, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the European Parliament environment committee’s backing for a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and for closing some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
Can Europe fall in love with biofuels again? This was the question a big biofuels producer asked in his Valentine’s letter to EU policy makers. The occasion for his love letter was, of course, the European Commission’s proposed reform of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which regulates biofuels in Europe.
Only three European countries are pursuing climate policies that could deliver on the promises made at the Paris climate conference, according to a new ranking published by T&E and NGO Carbon Market Watch. Sweden, Germany and France top the ranking, which is based on the ambition being shown by member states as they negotiate the terms of the EU’s most powerful climate tool, the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR).
EU governments and MEPs are under pressure to consider phasing out the use of vegetable oils for biofuels by as early as 2020 after the European Parliament backed the move in a non-binding resolution this week. The Council and Parliament are currently drafting their common positions on reform of the Renewable Energy Directive, which will decide Europe’s biofuels policy up to 2030.
The European Parliament today urged the European Commission to phase out the use of vegetable oils for biofuels, preferably by 2020. Groups across the political spectrum supported the resolution calling for an end to incentives for biofuels that cause deforestation and peatland drainage, such as palm oil, soy and rapeseed. The resolution, on an own-initiative report on palm oil and deforestation, was adopted by a large majority and sends a clear signal that the parliament wants a quick phase-out of crop-based biofuel in the proposed new Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
Transport and Environment, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau requested CE Delft to determine the most cost-effective optimal renewable energy mix for the 28 EU member states and, specifically, for Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Poland and the UK, taking into account social discount rates and the most recent cost developments.
The European Commission is overestimating the share of renewable energy that will be filled by bioenergy in 2030 while underestimating a significant drop in the cost of renewables such as wind and solar energy, a new independent study has found. As the Commission used old data, higher ambition on renewables appears to be more expensive than it actually is, warned NGOs Transport & Environment (T&E) and Birdlife Europe, which commissioned the study. Unless this is corrected, lawmakers might end up being less ambitious about mandating the uptake of renewable energy or being overly optimistic about mandating the use of bioenergy.
The European Parliament’s transport committee today voted to increase the ambition of the EU’s largest proposed climate law, the Effort Sharing Regulation. The opinion report led by Merja Kyllonen MEP, which was was adopted by 32 votes in favor and 8 against, will feed into the discussion in the main committee, ENVI. The committee’s ambition on issues like the starting point, a longer term emission reduction trajectory and the bi-annual compliance checks was welcomed by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment.