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.
Methodology for indicator calculation
The EEA and ETC/CME support the European Commission in the compilation, quality checking and dissemination of information reported under Article 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 gap filling has been specified.
No methodology references available.
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 (EU) 2015/1513). 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.
- No rationale references available.
No targets have 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 .
No methodology uncertainty has been specified.
Data set uncertainty
No data set uncertainty has been specified.
No rationale uncertainty has been specified.