Low-carbon liquid fuels have a strategic role to play in the transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050, particularly in sectors such as heavy-duty transport, according to John Cooper, director general of FuelsEurope, which represents the European petroleum refining industry.


Setting out an ambitious pathway for enabling transport to contribute to EU’s climate neutrality ambition by 2050, he said low-carbon liquid fuels are sustainable fuels from non-petroleum origin with no or very limited CO2 emissions during their production and use. First blended with conventional fuels, these low-carbon fuels will progressively replace fossil-based fuels.

In addition, low-carbon liquid fuels will not require any additional infrastructure and will enable emission reduction for all vehicles already on the road.

“With a clear societal and scientific case for far-reaching climate action, and taking into account the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus crisis, we respect that there will be no return to business as usual for the fuels industries,” he said. “With the focus increasingly turning to recovery and new investments, we believe now is the time to start policy discussions with EU and national policy makers, and customer stakeholders to design the enabling policy framework for the deployment of these essential low-carbon fuels.

“Complementary to electrification and hydrogen technologies, low-carbon liquid fuels will be essential throughout the energy transition and beyond 2050, ensuring security of supply, providing consumer choice and also building Europe’s industrial leadership,” stressed Cooper.

“We have worked very closely with our member companies over the past three years on the low- carbon pathways for liquid fuels. This thinking has been the starting point for development of an extensive technology set by our industry which now has potential to be deployed across Europe to deliver low-carbon liquid fuels at substantial scale.”

Cooper explained that this pathway could enable reducing emissions from transport in 2035 by up to 100Mt CO2/y , and contributing to EU’s climate neutrality ambition by 2050. For supporting the development of these solutions for the aviation and maritime sectors, there can be benefit from the creation of lead markets in road transport, where existing policy frameworks may be readily adapted, and where increasingly efficient road vehicles will help them to be affordable for customers.