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Climate Action
News article29 October 20211 min read

With 4.3% drop in greenhouse gas intensity of road transport fuels, further action is still needed for meeting the 2020 6% fuel quality target


The Commission today adopted its annual Fuel Quality Report based on the 2019 reporting data submitted by EU countries. The report finds that the average greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of fuels in the 28 reporting Member States had fallen by 4.3% compared to the 2010 baseline. The year-on-year progress achieved compared to 2018 was limited to a 0.6 percentage point decrease. Progress varies greatly across Member States, and almost all need to act swiftly to meet the target set out under the Fuel Quality Directive to reduce the GHG intensity of transport fuels by a minimum of 6% by 2020 compared to 2010.

There are several types of action that Member States can take in this regard, for example, further expanding the use of electricity in road transport, supporting the use of biofuels, in particular advanced biofuels, incentivizing the development and deployment of renewable fuels of non-biological origin and reducing upstream emissions before refining processes.

As part of the July 2021 ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package, the Commission has proposed to reduce further the GHG intensity of fuels. The proposed revision of the Renewable Energy Directive introduces a GHG intensity reduction target of 13% for all transport fuels by 2030 compared to the 2010 baseline while repealing the GHG target from the Fuel Quality Directive to avoid double regulation.

Apart from the GHG intensity reduction obligation, the Fuel Quality Directive sets strict quality requirements for fuels used in road transport in the EU to protect human health and the environment, and to make road travel across the EU safer.

In 2019, fossil fuels made up the vast majority of the total fuel supply, with diesel dominating in most EU countries. Meanwhile, biofuels accounted for 5.6 % of total 2019 fuel supply, remaining still at a stable level in comparison to 2018. Almost all diesel and petrol sold in the EU was marketed as containing respectively 7% of biodiesel or 5% or 10% of bioethanol by volume.

Overall, there is a high level of compliance with the quality limits in the EU, and the very large majority of key fuel parameters in the 2019 samples were reported to be within the tolerance limits. All Member States also reported on the actions taken when non-compliant samples were identified.

Further information


Publication date
29 October 2021