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Motor Fuel and Biofuel Regulations 2021

Volume 695: debated on Thursday 13 May 2021

I have today published the draft statutory instrument the Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) and the Biofuel (Labelling) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2021 and accompanying explanatory memorandum. These regulations amend the Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) Regulations 1999 to require the introduction of E10 petrol (petrol with up to 10% ethanol) at filling stations in Great Britain. Current petrol in the UK contains up to 5% ethanol (referred to as E5).

Switching to E10 can reduce the CO2 emissions from a petrol vehicle by around 2%. This, combined with an increase to overall renewable fuel targets (which has been subject to a separate consultation) could cut overall transport CO2 emissions by a further 750,000 tonnes a year—the equivalent of taking around 350,000 cars off the road. E10 introduction will also help support UK farmers and particularly the ethanol industry based in the north-east of England. Producing ethanol also creates the valuable by-products of high-protein animal feed and stored CO2. These reduce reliance on imported products, in line with the Government’s bioeconomy strategy.

The regulations also ensure the ongoing availability of E5 petrol (petrol with 5% or less ethanol) for those with vehicles and equipment unsuitable for use with E10. The amendment to the Biofuel (Labelling) Regulations 2004 changes the consumer message that must be displayed when E10 petrol is sold at filling stations. These regulations also make amendments related to the United Kingdom’s exit from European Union to rectify deficiencies in the regulations and replace references to European directive 98/70/EC with references to domestic legislation.

The regulations are published in accordance with the procedure required by schedule 8 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and agreed with Parliament. The draft regulations will be available for review for 28 days before they are laid and debates scheduled. They remake the provisions of the Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) and the Biofuel (Labelling) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Those regulations were treated as if they were subject to the negative procedure, but as they amended provision made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 using a power conferred before 21 June 2017, paragraph 13(1) of schedule 8 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 applied meaning that the affirmative procedure should have been used.

These regulations were subject to open consultation. The policy detail, Government response and impact assessment are available at: consultations/introducing-e10-petrol.