Green light for greener fuels

The Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) comes into force today, requiring 2.5 per cent of all road fuels sold to come from biofuels.

Motorists will fill their vehicles as normal, but the change is expected to save 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2010, when the required percentage will rise to five per cent.

Suppliers are now required to produce sustainability reports including information on where their biofuel crops come from and the level of carbon savings they will achieve. The Renewable Fuels Agency will publish these reports and compare the performance of transport fuel suppliers.

Alongside this, a review into the indirect impacts of biofuels has already been announced by Transport secretary Ruth Kelly to ensure that the full economic and environmental impacts of biofuel production are taken into account in the formation of UK policy beyond 2010.

Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: ‘Making it easier for motorists to use greener fuel is an important step towards reducing carbon emissions from transport. It should help save millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide in the coming years.

‘But we must do all we can to ensure biofuels are produced sustainably. We know people are concerned about the environmental risks associated with expanding biofuel production and we take those concerns very seriously.’