Brussels, 17 December 2008
Fuel Quality Directive
The amendment to Directive 98/70/EC on environmental quality standards for
fuel aims at:
- further tightening environmental quality standards for a number of fuel
- enabling more widespread use of ethanol in petrol and
- introducing a mechanism for reporting and reduction of the life cycle
greenhouse gas emissions from fuel.
- Reduction in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from energy supplied. For
now, a binding target of 6% creates a very important first step while leaving
open the possibility for increasing the future level of ambition to 10%. To that
effect, in a 2012 review, the Commission will need to assess a further increase
of the ambition level of 2% from other technological advances, such as the
supply of electricity for use in transport. This increases the technological
neutrality of the Directive and will encourage innovation. Subject to that
review, a further 2% is envisaged to be achieved by the use of CDM credits for
flaring reductions not linked to EU oil consumption.
- Incorporation of sustainability criteria for biofuels used to meet
greenhouse gas reduction requirement. Creation of specific Committee jointly
with the Renewable Energy Directive to coordinate the energy and environment
aspects in future development of biofuel sustainability criteria.
- Reduction of sulphur content of inland waterway fuel in one step to 10ppm by
1 January 2011.
- Phasing in of 10% Ethanol (E10) petrol: To avoid potential damage to old
cars, continued marketing of petrol containing maximum 5% ethanol guaranteed
until 2013, with the possibility of an extension to that date if needed.
- Derogations for petrol vapour pressure for cold summer conditions and
blending in of ethanol are subject to Commission approval following an
assessment of the socio-economic and environmental impacts, in particular on air
- Introduction of labelling requirement for metallic additives for consumer
protection purposes. Limit on the use of the specific additive MMT in line with
the precautionary principle. This limit can be raised if it is demonstrated not
to cause adverse effects.