The Commission adopted last month two proposals of new Directives so as to foster the use of alternative fuels, which should reach in 2020 a minimum level of 15% of all fuels sold in the EU.
The European Union is indeed committed to an 8% reduction of its greenhouse gases emissions by 2010 and the promotion of alternative fuels in the field of transport is a key measure to meet this ambitious objective.
The strategy of the Commission consists in promoting biofuels in the short term, natural gas in the medium term, and hydrogen and fuel cells in the long term. Each of these fuels could represent at least 5% of the total transport consumption within 2020.
Concerning biofuels (i.e. fuels derived from agricultural resources, like ethanol), the Commission proposes to:
– establish a minimum level of consumption (starting at 2% in 2005 and reaching 5,75% in 2010)
– enable Member States to reduce excise duties by up to 50% on biofuels used for transport
– except for public transport and taxis which could benefit from a total exemption of taxes on biofuels.