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What the latest European Commission numbers show about EU renewable transport energy progress

15/03/2017

Hint: We’ve still got a long way to go

The European Commission released new Eurostat data this week showing that most EU Member States are a long way from meeting their 2020 targets for renewable energy use in transport.
That’s important because transport accounts for 20% of EU greenhouse gas emissions – meaning that decarbonisation of the sector is essential if Europe is to meet its climate commitments. Yet the Commission wants to phase out one of its most effective tools for reducing greenhouse gases: conventional biofuels. The Commission proposal would even curtail use of conventional biofuels that meet stringent sustainability criteria and have high greenhouse gas emission savings, like renewable European ethanol.

As the Commission graphic below shows, many EU countries are well below the target for 10% renewable use in transport by 2020. The lack of progress is a result of several policy u-turns by the Commission, including a backtrack on the compromise agreed by the EU institutions as part of the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive in 2015, which Member States have only begun the process of implementing. This permanent policy flux has created policy instability for Member States and jeopardised their ability to meet the 2020 target for renewables in transport. But there’s still a chance for MEPs and Member States to make sure that Europe doesn’t make another costly u-turn on the road to transport decarbonization – and help all EU countries increase their share of renewable energy.

Find out more here.