How the EU should implement Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive

May 26, 2010

In theory, it is a great idea. In practice, the small print will decide

European institutions have over the next months a unique opportunity to make decarbonisation of transport cheaper and more effective. In order to achieve that, the Fuel Quality Directive should assess the carbon footprint of petrol and diesel in the same detailed way as for biofuels. Only by truly and transparently reflecting the GHG intensity of different sources of fuels across the production chain will bring the desired benefits and reductions in emissions. One default value for all oil-based fuels would seriously limit GHG savings on the fossil fuel side, and hence unnecessarily drive up the cost to comply with decarbonisation targets.

A conservative – technology forcing – set of values would maximise opportunities for CO2 cuts and the future effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the law. The European Commission should set up the structure for this approach as part of the Fuel Quality Directive immediately and ensure that separate default values for high carbon oil, including for tar sands and oil shale, are part of the methodology.

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