December 2008 news

22.12.08 Merry Christmas and a happy new year

On behalf of the biofuel cities partners we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a good start to the new year - 2009!

There will be no news updates over the holidays. We will be back to supply you with the latest developments on biofuels on 7 January 2009.


19.12.08 EU Parliament approves climate deal including sustainability criteria for biofuels

The vote by EU MEPs (on the 17 December) on the climate and energy package proposed by the European Commission has now set in place legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The main targets that are to be met are: a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency and a 20% share for renewables in the EU's energy mix.

The vote confirms the 10% target for renewable energy for fuels in transport and fixes biofuels sustainability criteria to ensure that support for biofuels has no negative environmental impact.

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(source: GAVE-news / EurActiv / European Commission)


18.12.08 The new EU directive on the procurement of clean road vehicles - what does it mean for public transport sector

Seminar, 29 January, Brussels

During the month of October 2008, the European Council and the Parliament have adopted the new Directive on the Promotion of Clean and Energy Efficient Road Transport Vehicles. The Directive will introduce environmental aspects into public procurement/purchase of road vehicles. The new text covers all road vehicles (such as police cars, buses, waste collection vehicles, etc.) procured/purchased by public authorities and by operators providing public transport services.

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is organising a seminar on the 29 January to provide information about the final outcome of the European legislation process. The event will give valuable information on how to interpret the criteria mentioned in the new proposal for the purchase/procurement of buses and other road vehicles used in public transport.

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(source: UITP)


09.12.08 EU agrees on a compromise deal for 'green' fuel

On the 3 December, the European Union agreed on a deal to satisfy 10 percent of its transport fuel needs from renewable sources, including biofuels, hydrogen and green electricity, as part of ongoing negotiations on its energy and climate package. The move represents a step back from the original aim of sourcing 10 percent of the EU's transport fuels from biofuels alone.

However, how the fundamental issue of indirect land use change (ILUC) will be dealt with was postponed with no legally binding guarantee of it being accounted for in the future. This aspect, in particular, has angered many European NGOs who say that the deal has been made at the expense of "the world's poor, biodiversity and efforts to fight climate change".

Read more on the same article:

Issue of indirect land use and greenhouse and greenhouse gas savings (from Transport & Environment). More..

More positions from Europe (from EurActiv). More..


08.12.08 Biofuel Cities European Partnerhsip: looking forward at 2009

This year has been a challenging and profitable year for the Biofuel Cities European Partnership. The number of participants has increased every month, interesting workshops and study tours have been organised and several informative reports have been published.

In 2009, numerous events and activities are planned. Products, such as a Technical Guidance on the application of biofuels, a guide on sustainable biofuel procurement, a policy handbook and an online project monitoring tool will be ready. Moreover, we invite you to not miss the opportunity to visit Biofuel Cities at the World Biofuels Market - Europe's largest biofuels congress and exhibition - taking place in Brussels in March 2009.

If you would like to learn more about the 'biofuel world', have a read of the latest issue of the Biofuel Cities Quarterly, now available on the Biofuel Cities website. The focus of this edition is on sustainable procurement of biofuels for transport.

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03.12.08 EU still split over sustainability criteria

On the eve of the negotiations (2 December) that could determine the adoption of the EU biofuel targets, the EU's lawmakers were still split over over sustainability criteria. Namely, the inclusion of the amount of land used to grow crops for production.

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(source: EurActiv 2 Dec 08)


03.12.08 Cars running on fish fuel

Espoo, Finland-based VTT Technical Research Center, the largest applied research organisation in Northern Europe, launched a three-year project (known as ENERFISH) to produce biodiesel from waste generated by a Vietnamese fish processing plant.

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(source: Cleantech)