Written statement to Parliament

Fuel Quality Directive Transposition response to the comments received in the consultation

Written statement by Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport.

Today I am publishing our response to the comments received in the consultation on our proposals to implement Articles 7a to 7e of the EU Fuel Quality Directive (Directive 98/70/EC as amended by Directive 2009/30/EC). The directive requires suppliers to reduce the lifecycle greenhouse gas intensity of many transport fuels.

The response sets out our decision to introduce new secondary legislation to transpose requirements of the Fuel Quality Directive, including new annual reporting requirements for fossil fuels and biofuels.

The document also details our commitment to amend the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 (‘RTFO order 2007’) to include fuels used in non-road mobile machinery, a policy already announced to the House on July 16 when the department published a related consultation response (Official report, 16 July 2012, Column 112WS).

An amendment made in December 2011 to the RTFO order 2007 means that only biofuels meeting minimum sustainability criteria count towards renewable energy targets. Sustainable biofuels play an important role in our efforts to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. However, concerns remain about the sustainability of some biofuels, especially around the issue of indirect land use change (“ILUC”) and we are pressing the European Commission and other member states to produce a robust method to address this issue. Pending that clarity we are taking a cautious approach to implementing the Fuel Quality Directive.

The Fuel Quality Directive introduces the requirement for many transport fuel suppliers to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the fuels they supply by 6% in 2020. We will not impose on suppliers a greenhouse gas reduction obligation at this point. Instead, we will place an ongoing legal duty on the Secretary of State for Transport to propose any further measures necessary to ensure delivery of the requirements of the Fuel Quality Directive. We will rely on the amended RTFO Order 2007 to deliver the greenhouse gas savings necessary under the Fuel Quality Directive for the period up to 2014. We will also put in place a requirement for fuel suppliers to report on the greenhouse gas intensity of both the biofuel and fossil fuels they supply for use in land-based transport and for the associated uses listed in the directive.

This approach allows us to transpose the Fuel Quality Directive at the minimum cost to UK business.

I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to the consultation.

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