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DIRECTIVE BANNING TAR SANDS FROM EUROPE GETS A REPRIEVE

The European Commission shows its willingness to look again at the clean transport fuel issue by granting a reprieve to EU fuel quality directive with the potential to price tar sands out of the European market.

Unlike what had been thought, the fuel quality directive (FQD) to encourage greener road fuels will not be discarded at the end of the decade, paving the way to higher tax rates for tar sands oil, which could be basically banned from Europe.

Transport fuelsare the only European sector in which a decrease in emissions has not occurred yet, but the FQD could guarantee progress in this field, as it has set the goal to provide 10% of Europe’s transport fuel from low carbon sources (mostly biofuels) and to reach some 6% reduction in emissions’ greenhouse gas intensity by 2020.

Meanwhile, Canada has taken a clear position against these measures, and has threatened trade retaliation if - acting on scientific advice - tar sands oil are taxed at a higher rate because they are more polluting than conventional oil. Complaints have come also from environmentalists, who assert that the 10% target for biofuels was increasing product prices and helping deforestation.

However, the intent to renew the directive’s validity has been hailed by many as a deterrent to European imports of polluting tar sands and damaging crop-based biofuels, and it could also influence the European Parliament’s vote on sustainability criteria for biofuels.

 

The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Friday, 20 February 2015

(Source: Guardian)