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Fixing Europe’s clean fuels policy

As the European Union discusses reform of its Renewable Energy Directive (RED), this position paper and factsheet outline why we need to move ahead to a world without food-based biofuels. In 2015 the share of renewables in transport was 6%, coming mainly from food-based biofuels. Crop-biodiesels are the largest contributor, and they have higher emissions than fossil diesel, hence increasing emissions. Food-based biofuels are not an efficient use of land; solar panels could deliver over 100 times more vehicle kilometre with the same area. The European Commission’s proposal on phasing out biofuels compared to a proper phase-out would lead to CO2 emissions on the scale of Netherlands annual emissions. T&E's position paper is available to download here in English and Italian.

Published on March 9, 2017 - 15:48

Palm oil and deforestation: Avant-Premiere of documentary 'Frontera Invisible' in European Parliament

When? 
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 12:30 to 14:30
Where? 
European Parliament
Room A1G-2
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Cars and trucks are the top consumers of palm oil in Europe. Palm oil consumption in Europe is driving deforestation in many parts of the tropics such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Congo Basin, and lately in South America too. It’s an environmental problem that also causes social upheaval.What role does the EU play in this? How is Europe’s biofuels policy contributing to this problem? What are the solutions?

Published on January 18, 2017 - 16:23

U-turn on phase-out of food-based biofuels

Food-based biofuels can still be counted towards the EU’s renewable energy target, the European Commission has proposed – in a stunning U-turn on its commitment to phase-out first-generation biofuels that are worse for the climate than fossil fuels. Member states will be able to use a maximum 3.8% share of food-based biofuels in transport towards the Renewable Energy Directive’s target for 2030, barely reduced from the current 4.9% market share at EU level.

Published on January 9, 2017 - 19:29

Solar and wind power keep breaking cost records – but Poland and Hungary resist

A new solar energy scheme is set to record yet another record-low price for zero-carbon energy. In a year when advances in renewable energy technology have pushed prices for solar and wind energy down to levels once not considered possible, a cross-border solar project between Germany and Denmark has been agreed at a price of 5.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Published on December 18, 2016 - 20:46

Electricity and transport’s ‘coupling’ needs more work

By Jelena Simjanovic, clean energy directorWHAT I LEARNED IN 2016: I joined T&E in late summer, soon after the European Commission published its Low-emission Mobility Strategy. Its goals looked promising: increasing efficiency of the transport system; speeding up the development of low-emission alternative energy for transport; and moving towards zero-emission vehicles. While I had a general idea about biofuels and sustainability issues around them, I entered the transport world after 10 years of working on a variety of energy sector issues and carbon markets. I feel privileged to have a job where I can learn as much as I have learned in the past five months, while at the same time utilising my extensive knowledge of the electricity and energy markets for the discussion on transport electrification and development.

Published on December 16, 2016 - 18:06

EU fuel quality rules too weak to change oil industry practices; now governments must act

The European Commission’s guidelines on reducing emissions ‘upstream’ from oil refineries are too weak to drive real action by the oil industry because they leave open the door to questionable carbon offsets, green groups Carbon Market Watch and Transport & Environment (T&E) have said. However, national governments can still strengthen the guidelines and make them legally binding.
Published on December 1, 2016 - 12:29

Commission favours unproven biofuels over clean electricity for transport

Backtracking on its commitment to promote the electrification of transport and a phaseout of food-based biofuels, the European Commission today proposed to keep supporting planet-wrecking biofuels until 2030 and not stimulate the uptake of clean electricity in transport. Moreover, the Commission is setting a target for advanced fuels 15 years in advance, without appropriate sustainability criteria, as if it hasn’t learned a lesson from mistakes with first generation biofuels.

Published on November 30, 2016 - 12:52

How to avoid another decade of biofuels headaches

What to do with biofuels? This simple question has given many European policymakers huge headaches for a decade now. Two subsequent, dragged-out legal processes to first promote them (2006-2009), and then to contain food-based ones (2012-2015) left no-one happy. NGOs warned that the problems were still not solved, while industry maintained that all investment security was gone.

Published on November 13, 2016 - 23:13

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