Weak rules for polluting transport fuels passed, just

17 December 2014

Today, the European Commission’s proposals for the implementation of crucial EU climate legislation for reducing emissions from transport fuels passed in the European Parliament, despite a rejection by the majority of MEPs who voted.

“We are disappointed that the European Commission's weak proposals to limit tar sands and other highly polluting fuels have passed despite a rejection by the majority of members of parliament voting today and the previous rejection by the Parliament's Environment Committee," said Colin Roche, extractives campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe.

“This is a clear signal that the Parliament is dissatisfied with the Commission bowing to the pressure of the oil industry, the U.S., and Canada. The Commission failed to deliver a proposal that acts on the threat of tar sands to the climate, turning strong action into empty rhetoric. Weak legislation is not ‘better regulation’. The Commission now needs to take stronger steps to keep this climate killer out of Europe.”

“Member states should now do all they can to strengthen the Fuel Quality Directive at national level to ensure we can all see where Europe's fuels come from and should push the Commission to come up with new proposals to tackle the tar sands threat to the climate, '' Colin Roche added.

The Fuel Quality Directive was agreed five years ago and obliges European fuel suppliers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from their fuels by 6% by 2020. But the proposed implementation measures, despite recognising the high emissions of some fuels, especially tar sands, do not set out any measures to discourage their import.

Tar sands are one of the world’s dirtiest fuels - 23% more carbon intensive than conventional oil according to research commissioned by the European Commission.

Friends of the Earth Europe has previously been highly critical of the Fuel Quality implementation plan which it says does nothing to penalise the most polluting fuels.