InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Brussels , Belgium
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Climate Lobbying Overview: FuelsEurope is heavily engaged with European climate policy. Despite generally positive top-line communications on Europe's long term climate ambition, including the European Green Deal, the organization appears unsupportive of reforms to increase the near term stringency of key EU regulations, including the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), and CO2 emission standards for light-duty vehicles.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: FuelsEurope’s top-line messaging on climate policy appears to have become broadly more positive in 2019-22, although it caveats its support with concern regarding impacts on competitiveness. FuelsEurope supported the EU’s target of climate neutrality by 2050 in a joint letter to the French President in March 2022. However, it has often stressed the risk of carbon leakage for EU industrial competitiveness resulting from a unilateral increase in EU climate ambition, including in a joint statement in February 2022. Although FuelsEurope stated support for the EU’s Fit for 55 package in a joint statement in February 2022, in a February 2021 consultation response the association indicated that it prefers carbon pricing mechanisms as the primary tool for driving low-carbon technologies.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: FuelsEurope seems to have mostly negative engagement with specific climate regulations. The association has consistently not supported reforms to strengthen the EU ETS, for example in a joint statement in February 2022, where it advocated for strengthened carbon leakage protection measures, including a “sufficient” level of free allocation of emissions allowances, and did not support many proposed reforms to mechanisms such as the Market Stability Reserve. In a February 2022 joint statement, FuelsEurope supported the EU’s CBAM, whilst advocating for the continuation of current carbon leakage protection measures under the EU ETS until at least 2030, a position which is misaligned with the EU Commission, and supported the inclusion of export rebates.

In an EU public consultation response in November 2021, FuelsEurope did not support reforms to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, including advocating for energy intensity targets instead of absolute energy consumption targets, and was unsupportive of the proposed increase of the energy savings obligation to 1.5%. Furthermore, in a position paper published in April 2021 the association suggested that any sector covered by the EU ETS should be exempt from energy efficiency requirements. FuelsEurope stated support for the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive on its corporate website in September 2021. However, in a November 2021 EU public consultation response it called for a technology-neutral approach, supporting more ambitious renewable targets for transport with the caveat that a wider pool of feedstocks is included, and opposed a strengthening of the bioenergy sustainability criteria. FuelsEurope did not support reforms to the EU’s CO2 standard for light-duty vehicles legislating a 2035 zero-emissions target in a November 2021 consultation response, stating that “narrow technology mandates would hamper the effectiveness of the transition”.

Positioning on Energy Transition: FuelsEurope takes mostly negative positions on policy to transition the energy mix. In addition, the organization appears to focus on advocating for the inclusion of ‘low carbon fuels’, such as recycled carbon fuels and synthetic fuels, to be recognized as a key element of the energy transition, including with reference to a number of EU climate policies for the transport sector. For example, the organization’s Clean Fuels for All policy paper, published in June 2020, proposed fuel taxation reforms to encourage investment in such low carbon fuels. It also appeared unsupportive of a stringent kerosene fuel taxation for aviation on its website in September 2021, arguing that it should only be applied to intra-EU flights with a review to include international aviation at a later stage, alongside opposing CO2-based ticket taxes for aviation.

On its corporate website in May 2021, FuelsEurope stated that “oil products will remain the main energy source for transport till 2030 and beyond.” The industry association appears not to support certain policies to electrify road transportation. In a March 2022 open letter to the French President, FuelsEurope Director General John Cooper opposed the EU’s 2035 effective ICE phase-out date and called for the long-term role of hybrid vehicles post-2035. Furthermore, in a September 2022 Twitter post, Cooper called for Trilogue negotiations to “enable, after 2035, ICE cars registered to run exclusively on CO2-neutral fuels”. The industry association generally appears in favor of a long-term role for ICE vehicles, calling for a technology-neutral approach in the shift to low-emission vehicles in a November 2021 EU public consultation response, and highlighting the role of modern combustion engines and 'low-carbon liquid fuels' in the decarbonization of transport over electrification. The association also appears to have supported increasing charging and refueling infrastructure for hydrogen and Liquified Natural Gas under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation in a November 2021 consultation response. In a May 2021 position paper, FuelsEurope advocated for exemptions for manufacturing, logistics and aviation sectors from reforms to align the Energy Taxation Directive with the energy transition via increased taxation on fossil fuels. However, in a November 2021 EU public consultation response it supported an exemption period of 10 years from energy taxation for sustainable alternative fuels.

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