DfT has just published its consultation on changes to be made to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.  It proposes an increase in the basic obligation level for next year of 1.5% and a further 1% increase in total by 2032 which would bring it to 12.1%.  However, the RTFA argues that further increases are justified.

Gaynor Hartnell, CEO of the RTFA said,

“The welcome move to E10 [1] this September means an increased obligation from 2022 onwards is essential.  But the proposal of a further 1.5% increase beyond that is woefully inadequate. The UK has rightly set out an ambitious vision for decarbonisation, but sadly this is not reflected in the proposals today.  We must accelerate the replacement of fossil fuel in the transport mix during the transition to electrification.  There is more than enough sustainable feedstock available to the UK to justify a more ambitious approach, so were calling for the basic target to be increased to at least 21% by 2032” [2]. The choice is not a difficult one, a higher target means more cleaner, renewable fuel and less fossil fuel, and the result – lower emissions from transport and better air quality.”

The consultation covers other proposals, including extending the obligation to cover recycled carbon fuels [3].

“This is a welcome proposal.  Fossil fuels should stay underground.  That means getting the energy and goods we need from alternative sources.  The long-term goal for waste plastics and tyres etc is to recycle them into new products, and for making Sustainable Aviation Fuel for long haul flights where there’s no prospect for electrification.  Including recycled carbon fuels in the obligation is welcome, but will justify further target increases beyond the 21% we have recommended.”


Notes for editors

The DfT consultation can be found on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/amending-the-renewable-transport-fuels-obligation-rtfo-to-increase-carbon-savings-on-land-air-and-at-sea

[1] E10 is petrol blended with up to 10% sustainable bioethanol.  The Government announced the intention to move to this cleaner fuel on February 25th 2021.  See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fuelling-a-greener-future-e10-petrol-set-for-september-2021-launch

[2] The RTFA commissioned a study by Prima to quantify the extent to which targets could be increased through the use of feedstocks that are considered to have very low land use impacts.  The conclusion was that the basic obligation level could be increased to at least 21%.  The results of this study will be published shortly.

[3] Recycled Carbon Fuels are fossil fuels that are going to be burned anyway, but which save more carbon if they are converted into transport fuel.  Examples are black bin bag waste which would otherwise go to an energy from waste plant and produce electricity.  Thanks to the UK’s success in deploying renewable electricity generation, grid electricity has much lower carbon emissions that before, whereas the greater challenge of decarbonising transport fuels means that greater savings are achieved by replacing diesel or jet fuel.