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Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that the renewable transport fuels obligation will help to lower carbon dioxide emissions. (170451)

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which will come into effect in April 2008, is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring transport fuel suppliers to ensure that an increasing percentage of their total road transport fuel sales is made up of biofuels. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved by different biofuels varies considerably and depends on a wide range of factors including the amount of energy used in the cultivation, processing and transportation of the crop. The RTFO will include a reporting mechanism to encourage transport fuel suppliers to source those biofuels which deliver high levels of carbon savings in a sustainable way, and to allow the policy’s greenhouse gas savings to be accurately quantified. The Government estimate that by 2010 the RTFO could save between 2.6 and 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.

From April 2010 the Government aim to reward biofuels under the RTFO according to their carbon savings in order to provide greater certainty as to the precise carbon savings delivered by the scheme. Further details of how this might be done are set out in a policy paper which is available via the Department’s website at:

Such a change would require a number of changes to the existing RTFO legislation, which would be subject to public consultation.