European Parliament wants to keep tar sands emission value in the FQD

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed today the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, where - among other provisions - MEPs have reiterated the need for legislation which gives tar sands a higher GHG emission value compared with fuels from conventional oil and for correct carbon accounting under the Fuel Quality Directive.

The Parliament resolution “welcomes the FQD as an important step in a life-cycle approach to resource consumption, and insists that, when implementing it, suppliers should apply a separate default value for tar sands”.

Nusa Urbancic, T&E programme manager, commenting on the decision said: “The science clearly shows that tar sands pollute more than fuel from conventional oil. Today’s Parliament vote is crucial as it sends a strong signal to the Commission to stick to its initial proposal for the implementing measures of the FQD."

In October 2011, the Commission put forward detailed rules for the enforcement of the Fuel Quality Directive. These rules, once approved, would assign specific carbon intensity values to all unconventional fuels, including tar sands and oil shale (1). As no agreement has been reached by member states in their February vote, the Commission is currently carrying out an impact assessment on how the FQD should be enforced, which is expected to be finalised by the end of 2012.

“A recent study that we have commissioned (2) has shown that this measure would not be just scientifically robust but also cost-effective, Ms. Urbancic added, “and we are confident that the Commission’s impact assessment will conclude the same. Also, the call for correct carbon accounting means that the Commission should deal with the Iluc issue sooner rather than later”, she concluded.