European countries will no longer be forced to subsidise food-based biofuels to meet the EU’s future green energy targets, under an agreement reached early this morning by EU governments, the European Parliament and the Commission. For those EU countries that decide to mandate food-based biofuels after 2020, the deal limits their contribution to the levels achieved nationally in 2020.
Spending 60% of the EU’s key infrastructure fund on contributing to climate objectives – as proposed by the European Commission today – will ensure smarter and cleaner spending, green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The Connecting Europe Facility would have €42.3 billion to co-finance investments including €30 billion for transport, as part of the draft 2021-2027 EU budget just published.
Carmakers are still failing to achieve their own sales targets for battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe because they have barely improved the marketing, choice and availability of zero emissions vehicles, a new report shows. While carmakers seek to blame a lack of recharging points and government incentives, market data obtained by T&E shows that for the second year running  they spent miniscule amounts trying to sell electric vehicles – especially in markets where motorists are already willing to consider buying them.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Finland and Norway have said they may pull out out of a global carbon offsetting scheme for aircraft emissions if its environmental safeguards are weakened any further, documents released to Transport & Environment (T&E) show. In separate letters to the UN aviation agency ICAO, the six governments state that if sustainability rules governing the use of offsets and alternative fuels are watered down any more in negotiations, they will reconsider their participation. T&E has also seen documents that suggest six other EU countries have similarly told ICAO that they will pull out of the scheme, known as CORSIA.
Diesel cars and trucks burned more than half (51%) of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017 - a 13.5% rise in palm biodiesel over the previous year - new data from OILWORLD, the industry reference for vegetable oils markets, released today by T&E shows. Since the introduction of an EU law to promote biofuels in 2009, palm oil used to make biofuel has steadily increased from 825,000 tonnes in 2008 to 3.9 million tonnes in 2017. The use of palm oil for biodiesel dwarfs palm oil use in other products such as cookies, chocolate spreads, shampoo or lipsticks, which combined add up to 39% of total use in 2017 - the lowest point in the past decade.
Britain’s supply of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles could dry up after Brexit as carmakers will lose a strong incentive to sell low-emission vehicles there, a new report has found. The UK was the third largest market for zero emission vehicles in the EU last year, and the largest for plug-in hybrids. But as British sales of these cars will no longer count towards carmakers’ EU CO2 targets after Brexit, they may choose not to sell them in the UK at all, according to the analysis by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E).
Hundreds of Indonesian leaders of indigenous communities, farmers’ unions, smallholder organizations, human rights groups and environmental NGOs have signed an open letter to the EU Presidency, Europe’s Heads of State and the President of the Republic of Indonesia against the use of palm oil in biofuels.
Today’s vote by MEPs to introduce distance-based road tolls for trucks will mean vehicles will pay for the CO2 emissions they emit, incentivising cleaner trucking, green NGO Transport & Environment has said. By 2026 drivers would no longer be able to pay by duration – per day, week, month, etc – to drive unlimited distances, and would instead pay per km, according to the European Parliament transport committee’s revision of the Eurovignette Directive.
The strategic action plan on batteries launched today by the European Commission is key to decarbonising transport in the EU and – rightly – puts sustainably and responsibly sourced batteries at the heart of that transition, Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The environmental NGO added that swiftly implementing this strategy will help Europe benefit from a market worth up to €250 billion a year that so far has been left to manufacturers in China and other regions.
The European Commission today proposed the EU’s first-ever fuel economy standards for new trucks. The 2025 target of 15% will save truck owners €5,000 in reduced fuel bills every year, strengthen European truckmakers’ competitiveness and cut millions of tonnes of climate-changing emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the proposal but cautions that the Commission’s plan falls short of the ambition demanded by hauliers and businesses and what’s needed to hit the EU’s own climate goals.