Europe is moving closer to finalizing a new fuel quality law which will require fuel suppliers to cut full life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from road fuels by 6% between 2010 and 2020.
ENDS (Environmental Data Services) reports that the cuts are expected to come from production efficiency improvements and a switch to biofuels and other cleaner fuels. Biofuel sustainability criteria will be added to the new law once they have been agreed in separate negotiations relating to the new Renewable Energy Directive.
The deal will require oil companies and other fuel suppliers (obligated parties) to cut road fuel life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 6% from 2010 to 2020. The European Commission had proposed earlier that there should be a mandatory 10% cut. The Commission says that it will review progress in 2012 and may then propose an extra 2% cut requirement.
In response to the news the European oil industry trade body, EUROPIA, said the 6% emission cut made the new law more aligned with a target to boost biofuels expected in the Renewables Directive. The Association repeated that the reduction target should not apply to fossil fuels and that it would not improve refinery efficiency beyond the level already being encouraged by the EU’s emission trading system.
This coming week in Brussels, Members of the European parliament will debate the state of the ongoing negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission on the climate change package. The package lays down the legislative measures needed to achieve the EU’s climate targets agreed by the March 2007 European Council for the year 2020: to cut the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, to increase the share of renewable energies in the energy consumption to 20% and the share of biofuels to 10%.
This debate will include targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for new cars (130g/km to be reached by improvements in vehicle motor technology, with a further 10g/km reduction to reach a 120g/km target, to be obtained by using other technical improvements such as better tires or the use of biofuels.
In line with Parliament’s resolution of 24 October 2007, MEPs agreed to set a long-term target of average emissions of no more than 95g CO2 per km from 1 January 2020, by means of improvement in vehicle motor technology.