Crop-based biofuels were seen as a way to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels and decarbonise the transport sector. But emerging evidence about negative environmental and climate impacts of these biofuels has led to the European Commission proposing to gradually phase-out the policy support in the EU. Industry stakeholders argue that this would adversely affect past investments and put jobs at risk.
Flights to and from Europe have been automatically re-included in EU ETS since the start of 2017. In February the Commission proposed, in response to development at ICAO, to once more exempt these flights, this time indefinitely. The environment committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted its report on this file in July, and the full Parliament will vote on it on September 13th.
The introduction of the new car tests, the WLTP and RDE tests, marks an important milestone in the battle to ensure cars comply with environmental limits on the road and to end the cheating that has become endemic in emissions testing. But, as this briefing outlines, new tests are not a panacea and will need to be further refined to ensure they are really representative of how cars are driven. The forthcoming decisions on how and who approves cars for sale will be key to ensuring the system of approvals is independent and rigorously enforced.
In 2015, Groupe PSA, Transport & Environment (T&E), France Nature Environnement (FNE) and Bureau Veritas announced plans to measure and publish real-life fuel economy information for PSA vehicles. Unlike most other fuel economy measurements, the tests were to be performed on the road using a Portable Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS).
While fuel and ticket taxes, an effective emissions trading system, aircraft standards and other policies (discussed in our decarbonisation of aviation briefing) are essential to lower aviation emissions, sustainable, advanced low-carbon fuels will likely have to contribute too. This paper outlines how supply of sustainable fuels could be encouraged through the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) in the period 2020-30.