• Commission tries to scrap Fuel Quality Directive despite public opposition

    In its draft ‘white paper’ published today, which outlines the proposed 2030 climate and energy package, the European Commission has included a line of text calling for an end, from 2020, of the 6% greenhouse gas reduction target for transport fuels, as part of the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD).

    The Commission’s text would effectively mean that the EU law to regulate emissions from transport fuels ceases to exist after 2020. Currently, the EU has two targets in place for 2020: one is the 10% target for renewables in transport, mostly met with biofuels. The other is the 6% decarbonisation target in the FQD. Both were introduced in 2009, as part of the European climate and energy package [1].
    Transport & Environment supports the end of the 10% volume target for renewables, because it currently promotes the use of biofuels that have higher emissions than conventional oil. However, dropping the FQD is dropping one law too many. The decision to prematurely terminate this key environmental law was taken by the Commission, even though it hasn’t performed an assessment or consultation before proposing. This goes against the Commission rules of decision-making, which should be transparent, inclusive and democratic.
    Nusa Urbancic, policy manager for clean fuels at Transport & Environment, said “The Commission is using the climate and energy package as an excuse to quietly scrap the FQD – the best EU law aimed at lowering emissions from transport fuel. This is good news for oil companies and Alberta, with its high-carbon tar sands, but bad news for Europe in our move towards a more sustainable transport system. We call on EU member states to reverse this decision when they discuss it at the Environment Council in March.
    Notes to editors:
    1. The Fuel Quality Directive was introduced to EU law in 2009 and aims to reduce the carbon intensity of Europe’s transport fuel by 6% by 2020. This comes as the transport sector is set to be the EU’s biggest CO2 emitter from 2020. But the measures governing how the law will actually be implemented have yet to be released by the Commission, allegedly because of extreme pressure from oil companies and the Canadian government.