05 Sep 2023

Concawe Review 32.1

As the September 2023 edition of the Concawe Review was being finalised, a number of reports discussed the decrease in the biodiversity of the planet. Because the biodiversity contained in different ecosystems can function as a natural carbon sink, its loss could accelerate climate change. The restoration and preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity is one of the key priorities of the European Green Deal, and solutions to limit climate change should not have a negative impact on biodiversity. The first article of this Review summarises the findings of a study that Concawe launched with Fraunhofer Institute to quantify the potential impact of the use of biomass, as per Imperial College Consultants’ study, on biodiversity.

The authors compared different methodologies to quantify the biodiversity state, and evaluated the quantity of miscanthus, as a representative for energy crops, that could be used without negative impact on biodiversity. July 2023 is reported to have been the hottest July ever, providing further evidence of climate change and the need to implement good solutions. The second article of the Review summarises a study that Concawe has launched to assess the real-word energy performance and emissions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in a range of usage scenarios (e.g. different battery capacities, recharging frequencies, trip distances, etc.) based on experimental data. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions on Russia have highlighted Europe’s dependence on strategic resources such as oil and gas, but also on batteries and materials required for renewable energy and the electrification of transport (lithium, cobalt, graphite, rare earth elements, etc.). The European Commission is currently working on a plan for strategic resources, and although numerous battery ‘gigafactories’ are being built, several articles indicate that a constrained supply of batteries may be unable to meet Europe’s 2030 requirements.

This article builds on the analysis of the emissions of PHEVs to determine the optimal use of battery capacity to minimise greenhouse gas emission in a battery-constrained world. The last two articles reflect the origins of Concawe’s name, CONservation of Clean Air and Water in Europe. The issues that justified the creation of Concawe in 1963 are just as relevant today, especially with the zero pollution objective of the European Green Deal. The third article presents the results of a modelling study assessing how concentrations of key air pollutants in 2030 and 2050 would compare with the new WHO air quality guidelines and interim targets under different scenarios. The fourth article presents the LNAPL (light non-aqueous phase liquids) Toolbox developed by Concawe—a web-based set of tools which aims to help sites manage their historic hydrocarbon releases to soil and groundwater.

Jean-Marc Sohier
Concawe Director

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