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Indicator Specification

Greenhouse gas emission intensity of fuels and biofuels for road transport in Europe

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: CLIM 055
Published 18 Nov 2020 Last modified 18 Nov 2020
1 min read
EU Member States report annually on the volumes, energy content and life cycle GHG emissions of fuels used in road transport and non-road mobile machinery, in line with their obligations under the Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC (FQD) Article 7a . Standards relevant to this reporting requirement are inter alia: EN 228:2012 EN-ISO 5164:2014 ISO 5163:2014 EN 13016-1:2018   This indicator summarises the information reported by the EU Member States — and subsequently collected, checked and compiled by the European Environment Agency together with the European Topic Centre on Climate Change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME) — on the volume, energy consumption and GHG intensity of fossil fuels and biofuels.
 

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

Policy relevance: Transport consumes one third of all final energy in the EU. The bulk of this energy comes from oil. This means that transport is responsible for a large share of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and is a major contributor to climate change. While most other economic sectors, such as power production and industry, have reduced their emissions since 1990, those from transport have risen. They now account for more than one quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. A reversal of this trend is currently not in sight. That makes the transport sector a major obstacle to realising the EU’s climate protection goals.

EU strategy documents focus on decarbonising transport. The European Commission’s 2018 strategy, ‘A Clean Planet for all: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’, seeks to chart the course for a transition towards ‘net-zero’ greenhouse gas emissions across the EU by 2050. For transport, it underlines the need for a system-based approach, stresses the importance of switching to low-carbon modes and zero-emission vehicles, underlines the central role of electrification and renewable energy sources, and pushes for operational efficiency improvements.

Similarly, from 2016, the ‘European Strategy for low-emission mobility’ has identified a more efficient transport system, the rapid deployment of low-emission fuels and the transition towards low- and zero-emission vehicles as priority areas for action (EEA, 2020).

In the context of these policies, the FQD (together with the Renewable Energy Directive) shall ensure that fuels from renewable sources such as crops and oils do not have negative impacts on land use, e.g. converting pasture or agricultural land previously destined for food and feed markets to biofuel production, while at the same time reducing the lifecycle greenhouse intensity of road fuels through the inclusion of biofuels.

Environmental relevance: The blending of biofuels is one of the methods available for fossil fuel suppliers to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the fossil fuels supplied. Where pasture or agricultural land previously destined for food and feed markets is diverted to biofuel production, the non-fuel demand will still need to be satisfied either through intensification of current production or by bringing non-agricultural land into production elsewhere. The latter case constitutes indirect land-use change and, when it involves the conversion of land with high carbon stock, it can lead to significant greenhouse gas emissions (Directive 2015/1513/EU). The FQD includes provisions to address the impacts of indirect land-use change while monitoring to what extend the share of biofuels in road transport fuels is increasing.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

EU Member States report annually on the volumes, energy content and life cycle GHG emissions of fuels used in road transport and non-road mobile machinery, in line with their obligations under the Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC (FQD) Article 7a. Standards relevant to this reporting requirement are inter alia:

  • EN 228:2012
  • EN-ISO 5164:2014
  • ISO 5163:2014
  • EN 13016-1:2018  

This indicator summarises the information reported by the EU Member States — and subsequently collected, checked and compiled by the European Environment Agency together with the European Topic Centre on Climate Change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME) — on the volume, energy consumption and GHG intensity of fossil fuels and biofuels.

Units

gCO2eq/MJ and percentage

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

__ __

Targets

No targets has been specified

Related policy documents

  • Directive 98/70/EC, quality of petrol and diesel fuels
    Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Directive 93/12/EEC
  • EC, 2020, "2050 long-term strategy"
    The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This objective is at the heart of the  European Green Deal  and in line with the EU’s commitment to global climate action under the  Paris Agreement .

Key policy question

Aggregated level assessment

Specific policy question

Disaggregate level assessment

 

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The EEA and ETC/CME support the European Commission in the compilation, quality checking and dissemination of information reported under 7a of the FQD. Details on the reporting obligation can be found in the EEA's Reporting Obligation Database and Central Data Repository.

Methodology for gap filling

No methodology for gab filling has been specified 

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

 

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

External data references

Data sources in latest figures

 

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No methodology uncertainty has been specified 

Data sets uncertainty

No dataset uncertainty has been specified 

Rationale uncertainty

No rationale uncertainty has been specified 

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Stephanie Schilling

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
CLIM 055
Specification
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Transport Transport

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Classification

DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

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