London, England – The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership in the U.K. has reported that Europe is moving closer to finalizing a new fuel quality law that will require fuel suppliers to cut full lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from road fuels by six per cent between 2010 and 2020.
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 European Commission had originally proposed a mandatory 10 per cent emissions cut but said that it will review progress in 2012 and may then propose an extra two per cent requirement.
In response to the news, EUROPIA, the European oil industry trade body, said the six per cent emission cut made the new law “more aligned” with a target to boost biofuels expected in the Renewables Directive, but stated 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 European Union’s emission trading system.
The European Federation for Transport and Environment said it welcomed the agreement as “a very good step in a very positive direction,” and said that the mandatory reduction would prevent fuel suppliers from sourcing fuels from very carbon-intensive tar sands or coal-to-liquid processes.