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What you don’t know can hurt you: European vacation edition

In our recent transatlantic airline fuel efficiency study update, we compared the fuel efficiency of 20 airlines with routes between the United States and Europe. Most of the transatlantic routes in...Finding the lowest carbon flight for a specific trip is more complicated than simply choosing the most fuel-efficient carrier.
Published 2018.12.10: Blog Post

The low-ILUC loophole could allow business-as-usual palm oil imports for biodiesel in Europe

The European Commission’s recast Renewable Energy Directive to 2030 (RED II) includes a provision to phase out the contribution of biofuels produced from feedstocks that are high-ILUC risk by 2030....The EC will will soon decide on criteria for classifying high- and low-risk indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels under the RED II. If the Commission gets it right, this provision could make a...
Published 2018.12.03: Blog Post

Fixing the broken super credits scheme of the proposed HDV CO2 standards

We are entering the final stretch of one of the most important races of the EU to decarbonize transport. If everything goes according to plan, in about four months the EU should become the sixth...If super credits are here to stay, we can at least try to make them better by getting buses out of the scheme and accounting for freight activity.
Published 2018.12.03: Blog Post

Decarbonizing aviation through low-carbon fuels will be beyond difficult

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) appears to believe that the international aviation industry can meet its steep carbon targets under the Paris Agreement almost entirely through...It's unlikely that the aviation industry can meet its steep carbon targets almost entirely through the use of low-carbon fuels.
Published 2018.11.15: Blog Post

Failure to Launch: Why Advanced Biorefineries Are So Slow to Ramp Up Production

A common refrain is that advanced biofuels are just a few years away from commercialization—a claim that has been made for much longer than just the past few years. The U.S. EPA’s Renewable Fuel...Despite claims that advanced biofuels are just a few years away from commercialization, existing projects struggle to reach their nominal capacity.
Published 2018.11.13: Blog Post

Short-term barriers to energy cropping

All stages of advanced biofuel production face challenges, and an essential step to reliably scaling them across the transportation sector and beyond is ensuring the availability of feedstocks....An essential step to reliably scaling advanced biofuel across the transportation sector and beyond is ensuring the availability of feedstocks.
Published 2018.11.08: Blog Post

Renewable gas is a distraction for Europe

There’s no room for natural gas in a fully decarbonized future. But the European gas industry argues we should continue using natural gas infrastructure and vehicles because the European Union’s (EU...The European gas industry argues we should continue using natural gas infrastructure and vehicles because the European Union’s gas supply can be transformed to a fully renewable resource by 2050. Is...
Published 2018.11.01: Blog Post

Kinks in the pipeline: A survey of downstream alternative jet fuels challenges

We often hear about how biofuels and other alternative fuels will be needed to decarbonize the aviation sector in the long-run. How easy or difficult will this be to achieve? There are already some...Although touted by some as necessary to decarbonize the aviation sector, logistics are still an issue for alternative jet fuels.
Published 2018.10.31: Blog Post

IMO: More efficient container and general cargo ships are on the horizon, but don’t pick on the small guys

On October 26, 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) tentatively agreed to make some new ships more efficient in what will be an important step towards implementing the organization’s...IMO has tentatively agreed to make some new ships more efficient, but that’s on hold to address equity concerns. What does this mean for emissions and for further efforts to reduce climate pollution...
Published 2018.10.29: Blog Post

Can alternative jet fuels crowd out demand from the road sector?

In the aviation industry’s vision of the future, neatly laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization, airlines can meet all of their obligations under the Paris Agreement through simple...Proponents of alternative jet fuels often ignore the reality that many other sectors have laid claims to limited bio-resources as part of their own decarbonization strategies
Published 2018.10.24: Blog Post

Is the Renewable Fuel Standard enough to spur progress in advanced biofuels? Probably not.

Production of cellulosic biofuel is expected to fall nearly 7 billion gallons short of meeting the statutory Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume for this type of advanced biofuel in 2018, which has...Government grant and loan guarantees, not the Renewable Fuel Standard, have been essential in spurring progress in the cellulosic biofuel industry.
Published 2018.10.18: Blog Post

Bioenergy can solve some of our climate problems, but not all of them at once

Bioenergy has become a popular decarbonization strategy—so popular that policy makers and researchers in several sectors are claiming biofuels, bio-electricity, and bio-heat can deliver a large...Bioenergy has become a popular decarbonization strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, even if bioenergy production is maximized, competition across industry sectors is high.
Published 2018.10.15: Blog Post

The hardest part of cellulosic biofuels in India might be collecting the rice straw

India recently announced its National Policy on Biofuels, which includes ambitious targets for ethanol and biodiesel produced primarily from non-food and non-feed sources. The policy aspires to...A new policy in India aims promote cellulosic biofuel production from sustainable feedstocks, something no other country has managed to do. Can the country succeed?
Published 2018.10.11: Blog Post

Death, taxes, and supersonic aircraft? Considering what’s certain, and what isn’t, under the FAA Reauthorization Act

There’s an old saw, most famously attributed to Benjamin Franklin, that nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. More recently, some have argued that the return of commercial supersonic flight...Despite a nod to supersonic aircraft in the new FAA reauthorization, CO2 and noise standards are still uncertain.
Published 2018.10.10: Blog Post

Will slow and steady win the race for alternative jet fuels?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) relies heavily on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from...Despite ICAO's reliance on alternative jet fuels to decarbonize the avaiation industry, production does not appear to be keeping up.
Published 2018.10.09: Blog Post

Sweden’s new bonus-malus scheme: From rocky roads to rounded fells?

Northern Sweden’s countryside is clad in peculiar mountains, called "fells" (fjäll). Rather than the cliché kind of rugged, sharp-edged mountains—think Toblerone—these have been rounded over by...By offering substantial incentives for low-carbon vehicles and raising the cost for high emitters, Sweden's feebate system can play a vital role in shifting demand toward more efficient vehicles.
Published 2018.10.08: Blog Post

To be fast or to be furious?

Three years have passed since ICCT’s popular staff blog "Fast and Furious" discussed China’s bold actions to slash gasoline and diesel sulfur content for on-road vehicles and predicting a likely...If China wants to maximize the benefit of its emission area control zones, it should go beyond its own territorial waters.
Published 2018.10.04: Blog Post

Can London be a model for zero-emission mobility?

As the world turns to electric vehicles, several markets stand out as leaders in the transition. There’s a lot of buzz about the successes of Oslo and Amsterdam, but a less told story is that of...A clear air future appears to be on the horizon for London, a city that is rapidly positioning itself as a model for zero-emission transportation.
Published 2018.10.01: Blog Post

New supersonic transport aircraft: Fuel burn parity, or environmental parody?

In 2016, Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic Airways, announced that the Virgin Group would assist aviation start-up Boom in developing a new supersonic transport (SST) aircraft.  Boom...Boom Technologies' CEO claims the company's proposed supersonic aircraft's fuel burn will be on par with subsonic business-class travel. Will it?
Published 2018.09.28: Blog Post

Certifying emissions from non-emitting transport: Trailers and the proposed HDV standards in the EU

If you follow the news on regulatory developments for tackling CO2 emissions from transport, you are probably familiar with the European Commission’s proposal to set mandatory reduction targets for...Trailers are a key component of the freight transportation system, and although they do not emit CO2 of their own, they can provide a substantial contribution to curbing CO2 emissions from long-haul...
Published 2018.09.24: Blog Post

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