Open letter from FuelsEurope to support all solutions

By on May 31, 2022 0

Open letter to MEPs and representatives of Member States of the European Union on the need for technological openness to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles.

With the “Fit for 55” package, the European Commission has presented key proposals to set the EU on the path to a climate neutrality in 2050. We strongly support the overall political ambition and look forward to the challenge of transition, which is undoubtedly underway, especially in mobility. However, To achieve the objectives and not lose long-term support, we emphasize the importance of a technology mix that encompasses all relevant solutions to reduce CO2 emissions without ignoring the varied realities of consumer and industry needs. . We fear that the Commission’s proposals do not strike such a balance. In view of the changes currently being discussed in the Council and the European Parliament, there is still a lot to be done to achieve this.

Representing the mobility, engineering and energy sectors, the signatories of this letter wish to contribute to efficient and effective solutions, serving the climate, consumers, the competitiveness of our industries and autonomy. EU strategy.

We would like to emphasize the need for a open regulations on vehicle CO2 emission standards. Where clean electric mobility is the answer to consumer demands, it will succeed. Where this is not (yet) feasible, there should be a choice. Employment in the EU remains stable with open regulation on technology while offering affordable and low-cost solutions for vulnerable households and businesses. To reduce carbon emissions, the electricity and fuels used to power vehicles must be renewable. Thereby, the focus should be on decarbonizing the supply of electricity and fuels, not on banning or promoting one technology over another.

A target of 100% reduction in CO2 emissions measured at the tailpipe is a de facto ban on vehicles equipped with an internal combustion engine, including plug-in hybrid vehicles. A target of less than 100%, or the recognition of CO2 emission reductions thanks to the contribution of sustainable renewable fuels would avoid such a ban.

The voluntary credit scheme for sustainable renewable fuels is a fully developed and practical solution ready to be implemented in the regulation on CO2 standards for cars and vans. It relies on existing structures for fuel accounting on the market, sustainability criteria, avoid double counting and keep the responsibilities of OEMs and fuel suppliers are separated.

The credit system is a first step towards a more holistic life cycle approach. It would provide a safety net where direct electrification is not yet viable, address the huge unresolved challenge of reducing carbon emissions existing vehicle fleetreduce pressure for accelerated deployment of charging infrastructurehigh electricity price and other subsidies as well as the supply of essential raw materials.

Direct drivetrain electrification will help reduce exhaust emissions. However, some conditions need to be met. More importantly, a sufficiently dense network capable of charging infrastructure and sufficient additional renewable electricity. Progress in the deployment of charging infrastructure and renewable electricity is uneven across Member States and only meets the minimum requirements in very few. Moreover, electrification is not a single solution for all use cases. The requirements for long distances and the transport of heavy loads exceed what electric mobility can offer today and in the foreseeable future.

Recent developments exacerbate uncertainties. The organization of the sectors remains constrained by the impact of pandemic. Raw material and energy price have been on the rise for a long time. We must recognize that dependence on a few sources of supply poses critical risks to our European industrial base. The electrification of mobility can help reduce fossil fuel imports in the long term, but at the same time it carries the risk of creating new dependencies on imports of raw materials and battery cells, now value creation outside the EU.

Moreover, the the road transport sector, with its high costs of reducing CO2 emissions, should be used to develop sustainable renewable fuels beyond the EU quota and provide the right investment signals. These fuels should be used as transition fuels for the road transport sector, while making them affordable for hard-to-reduce sectors such as aviation and maritime transport, where the investment capacity is much lower due to the direct international competition and less ambitious climate regulations.

A transition to electric mobility at the rate currently being debated, will make it difficult to manage the transformation of the industry and its workforce without interruption. In the automotive supply sector alone, the CO2 targets already proposed by the European Commission put more than 500,000 powertrain jobs at risk until 2040, with the majority of the risk occurring between 2030 and 2035 .

Open technology regulation for vehicle CO2 emission standards, recognizing the contribution of sustainable renewable fuels, maintains competitiveness, jobs and choice. Practical and fully developed mobility solutions are available. We ask you to consider them and support them for a comprehensive European climate policy that combines ambition and effectiveness and puts Europe and its citizens on the path to achieving the ambitious goals we have set ourselves.