|Author (Person)||Coss, Simon|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.7, 22.2.01, p3|
THE European Commission is likely to call for an effective ban on sulphur in fuel for road vehicles after 2005 in a bid to improve air quality, senior officials have confirmed.
Within the next few weeks the institution will argue that by the middle of this decade, maximum sulphur levels in car and truck fuels should not exceed 10 parts per million (ppm), says a senior fuel quality expert from directorate-general for enterprise.
"Most member states seem to be in favour of such a move and it seems increasingly likely that that is what we will go for," he added.
The current maximum sulphur limit for petrol sold in the EU is 50 ppm.
Various Commission departments are currently discussing the final details of the new fuel quality proposal to be unveiled by environment chief Margot Wallström. Oil industry experts and environmental groups agree that a 10-ppm limit would amount to a ban on sulphur in fuel.
"For technical reasons it would be difficult to regulate below 10 ppm and if the Commission does indeed opt for this approach, environmental groups will certainly be pleased," said Frazer Goodwin of green lobby Transport and Environment.
John Price of the EU oil industry lobby Europia says modifying refineries to comply with lower sulphur limits will cost firms an estimated 11 billion euro, and questions the usefulness of such a move.
Price claims that in the short to medium term, introducing ultra low sulphur fuel could actually lead to an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions across the Union. CO2 is a major contributor to global warming.
"If you modify the refineries they will pump out more CO2 than before," he said. But studies show that sulphur and CO2 levels would be lower by 2014.
The European Commission is likely to call for an effective ban on sulphur in fuel for road vehicles after 2005 in a bid to improve air quality, senior officials have confirmed.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Mobility and Transport|