Long touted as a way to decarbonise the EU’s transport sector, new analysis from NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) has shown the use of biodiesel could increase emissions by almost 4% – the equivalent of putting 12 million cars on the road by 2020.
The analysis, based on the European Commission’s own study into biofuels, found that biodiesel from virgin vegetable oil – known as “first generation biofuels” – leads to around 80% higher emissions than the fossil diesel it replaces.
As the EU looks to review its renewable energy legislation, T&E are calling it to end incentives for these “bad biofuels” – such as those from palm and soy – or be left with a “cure… worse than the disease.”
- Fossil fuels encourage behaviour that is corrupt as well as harmful to the planet. As new documents reveal pressure from Big Oil helped leave Europe’s door open for the dirtiest fuels, VW and Mitsubishi’s emission scandal further highlights the “crippling compromises” that have left many cars exceeding emission limits – with some UK vehicles emitting 12 times the EU maximum. Now Europe could be again increasing its emissions, by relying too heavily on biodiesel to decarbonise the transport sector.
- Biodiesel is harmful, not helpful to efforts on climate change. Transport is Europe’s second largest emitting sector after energy and is responsible for around a quarter of all EU emissions. Yet, despite a goal of sourcing 10% of EU transport fuel to renewables by 2020, it remains the only major sector where emissions today are well above their 1990 levels. Addressing transport’s role in climate change will be vital to meeting the EU’s climate commitment to a zero emission future.
- The future of transport is electric, powered by 100% clean energy. Tesla’s latest electric car secured 180,000 reservations in just one day last month, Swedish car-maker Volvo aims to sell at least on million electrified vehicles by 2020, and Germany’s BMW is aiming for its whole fleet to be electric within a decade. By supporting such innovation and the infrastructure to underpin this transition, governments will take a major step towards meeting their Paris promise, and providing cleaner, healthier roads for all.