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20180705 These are the five important players of the negotiations at the Climate Agreement
According to the Dutch newspaper Financieel Dagblad the Mobility Table, which is tasked with reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector and in traffic, has made the least progress of all the five tables. This table discusses, amongst other things, the stimulation of electric driving, the use of biofuels and making freight traffic in cities more ‘smart’. This table has not yet reached the point at which they discuss actual measures. Let alone talks surrounding the costs associated with these measures. However, it is expected that the aim in 2030 to only sell new cars that no longer have emissions (electric and hydrogen cars) will make it to the final draft agreement. But measures to limit emissions in the mobility sector up to 2030 are still scarce. One of the focal points is the use of biofuels and especially their availability. A separate working group has been set up for this purpose, which will make an inventory of how much sustainable biomass is available domestically and abroad, also taking into account the demand for biomass from other sectors. It is the paper’s expectation that an overview of various measures that could be taken to meet the CO2 reduction target will be presented. However, no hard or concrete measures. And relatively certain there will be no estimate of associated costs.


20180705 Calculations Climate Agreement delayed
Sources close to the ongoing negotiations of the Climate Tables have said that the general outline of the Climate Agreement which former minister Ed Nijpels is supposed to present on Tuesday will not yet be fully passed on to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB). One of the reasons for the delay is the interdependence of the tables. Although large parts of the results can be sent on to the planning offices, other tables such as the mobility table, have not made such progress yet and thus their plans may not be calculated as extensively as plans from Tables which have progressed more. Energy expert Ebel Kemeling fears that the negotiation process will lead to a 'gratuitous' document, without enforceable measures. According to him, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate should step in and take more control of the reins.


20180704 Dutch Climate Agreement seems far off
Negotiations to halve CO2 emissions by 2030 have produced little result so far for some sectors. Fears have risen amongst relevant stakeholders that the results of the Climate Tables’ negotiations next week Tuesday, which will be handed over to Minister Wiebes by the chairman Ed Nijpels of the climate talks, may turn out to be a disappointment. At the 'mobility' table, the introduction of road-pricing seems to have been disbanded in the final draft. According to experts, this is the way to reduce car traffic, but politically this gets too little support. What remains is seems to be more of a list of possibilities without real choices. Furthermore, sustainable fuels are being emphasised as a way to tackle emissions, but the question is whether sufficient biomass will be available in the near future. Competition in the form of coal-fired power plants also see pontential in biomass. After the presentation Tuesday, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) will calculate the proposed CO2 savings. The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) looks at the consequences for the burden-sharing across society. The question is whether all proposals are concrete enough to calculated properly. Subsequently, the government and parliament will come to a final conclusion in the autumn. If everything runs according to plan.


20180627 Dutch companies strive together for a bio-based economy and CO2 reduction
A consortium of Dutch companies that strives for more use of sustainable raw materials has handed over the report Business with biomass and biobased gas to chairman Ed Nijpels of the Climate Council. They hope that the conclusions of their report will trickle through this debate in the future Climate Agreement, of which the outline is supposed to become known on Tuesday 10th of July. DSM, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, FrieslandCampina, Suikerunie, Gasunie, the Port of Rotterdam, Green Gas Netherlands, ECN and Energy Academy Europe have looked at a smarter use of biomass. The main conclusion of their report is that a stimulation framework that regulates CO2 reduction via raw materials and energy leads to business cases for the multiple valorisation of biomass flows. The companies see opportunities for, among other things, bio-refining, waste-to-chemicals, gasification and the recovery of minerals from animal manure. Additionally they see opportunity in further emphasis on the principle of cascading. The companies, particularly in the chemical, agro-food and energy sectors, have the ambition to continue this work in the coming period, but in practice they feel inhibited by obstacles.


20180627 Climate Act to Parliament
A final agreement has been reached on a so-called Climate Act. Seven political parties of both the coalition and opposition have agreed to reach a 49% CO2 reduction in 2030 compared to 1990. In addition, the emissions in 2050 must be reduced by at least 95%. Also in 2050 the electricity production must be 100% CO2 neutral. Every five years a new Climate Plan will be presented containing concrete measures on how to achieve these goals, with every two years an evaluation. Every fourth Thursday in October is from now on national Climate Day, a kind of Budget Day on the Climate (similar to the famous ‘Prinsjesdag’).


20180625 Air Liquide inaugurates new biomethane production unit
Air Liquide has opened up a new biomethane production unit and a multi-energy distrubtion station in Cestas, near Bordeaux, France. The plant will produce biogas from organic matter of farm origin and ensures its purification into biomethane, which is then injected into the natural gas grid as bio-NGV (Natural Gas for Vehicles). The fuel reduces fine particulates emissions by 85%, CO2 emissions by 90%, and noise pollution by up to 50%. At the end of 2018 the station will also be able to supply liquid nitrogen (N2) to trucks equipped with cryogenic coolers used for refrigerated transport. It is better known as Air Liquide BlueezeTM.


20180625 Air quality city centres enhanced by the end of this year
The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has published a plan to enhance the air quality in Dutch cities this coming year. Her aim is to have every the level of air quality in city centres across the whole of the Netherlands in conformity with European standards before the end of 2018. To achieve this aim, she will reserve 10 million euro’s in order to tackle bottlenecks in the major municipalities in the Netherlands, according to the letter written to Parliament.


20180614 EU recognizes importance of crop-based ethanol to achieve climate goals
EU recognises importance of crop-based ethanol to achieve climate goals. According to ePure the RED II agreement by negotiators is a step in the right direction, allowing Member States to use sustainable biofuels in fighting climate change. The agreement sets a target of 14% renewables in transport by 2030. It would freeze the use of high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil at current levels and phase it out by 2030, while capping crop-based biofuels at Member States’ 2020 levels, with a maximum of 7%. The agreement also sets an ambitious and much-needed target for advanced biofuels.


20180613 Negotiations on Climate Agreement remain tense: who will be the first to give in?
Discussion at the five different ‘tables’ at which negotiations concerning a renewed Dutch Climate Agreement are being held, lack concrete measures and an overarching vision. Interest groups and the mobility industry remain at loggerheads with each other, which will thus result in a presentation in July with only certain general issues covered. They must however find a solution to reduce 7 million tonnes of CO2. This means a major delay in the time frame of responsible minister Wiebes (Economic Affairs and Climate), who has to reach a plan before the end of 2018 to ensure that CO2 emissions in 2030 will be halved.


20180613 Transitioning from conventional to advanced biofuels: What cost for consumers and taxpayers?
The European Commission’s proposal on the Renewable Energy Directive II reduces the cap on the contribution of conventional biofuels to transport fuel from a maximum of 7% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2030. It also sets an obligation to raise the share of other “low emissions fuels” such as renewable electricity and advanced biofuels in transport to 6.8%. However, crux of the discussion lies with the concerns of carbon emissions resulting from indirect land use change (ILUC). Despite the opportunities forecasted for advanced biofuels, its challenges with regard to sustainability, availability and cost remain to be covered. Thus, the Euractiv network has held a workshop on this topic: ‘Transitioning from conventional to advanced biofuels: What cost for consumers and taxpayers?’


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