How cooperation could be the key to success for the EU in the future

Europe could become a leader in advanced biofuels and synthetic fuels says FuelsEurope's Director General Liana Gouta

By Liana Gouta

Liana Gouta is the Director General of FuelsEurope

03 Apr 2024

A new 5-year term for the EU’s institutions opens new perspectives for the EU, policymakers, businesses and citizens.  

How these perspectives will evolve remains for now unclear but we do have some long-term certainties: the EU has to become a society capable of overcoming the next pandemic, the next international conflict and all the unforeseeable global crises behind the corner. It has also to achieve climate neutrality by 2050; Ensure that citizens have access to sustainable and affordable energy when and where they need it, and that critical infrastructure such as hospitals, public transport and services rely on an uninterrupted – and affordable - supply of energy; The European economy has to rely on an internationally competitive, innovative, sustainable industry and create wealth, offer quality jobs and provide business for many small and large companies. 

The European Fuel Manufacturers can contribute to achieving these objectives and making Europe’s 2050 outlook successful.  We can offer the EU, its citizens and businesses sustainable, affordable and reliable liquid fuels and products. We are willing and able to transform our assets and make a significant contribution and investment to enable to successfully deliver climate neutrality by 2050, a secure supply of energy, and innovative, EU-based, globally competitive industry. 

FuelsEurope represents the industry manufacturing and supplying liquid fuels and other refinery products. We stand behind the Paris Agreement and embrace the net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) objective. Significant policy improvements are needed though to unlock investments and a broad range of technologies to meet the 2050 target. We are ready to cooperate with the EU to impact-assess the relevant regulations, suggest corrective actions and unlock technological and investment potential. 

Significant policy improvements are needed to unlock investments and a broad range of technologies to meet the 2050 targets

Our industry is an integral part of the solution in the journey to climate neutrality, by replacing fossil molecules with renewable molecules in our products, cutting the carbon footprint of our operations, and creating decarbonisation synergies with other industries.  

We do not only have plans, but are already taking actions. To begin with, some of our conventional refineries in Europe which have been converted into biorefineries, replacing petroleum by 100% sustainable biomass. As a result, renewable, circular carbon has completely replaced fossil carbon and enabled the production of renewable fuels. Furthermore, other refineries are already co-processing a mix of fossil and biomass raw material, gradually reducing the carbon footprint of their products. And also, significant investments are made in alternative technologies, such as charging points for electric vehicles, renewable electricity or hydrogen production. 

According to the IEA, the investments in Clean Energy Technologies from our sector have increased sharply. Moreover, some companies headquartered in the EU dedicate 15 to 25% of their total capital spending to clean energy projects (well above the global average of 2.7% of the sector). 

The EU could lead globally in innovation on advanced biofuels and synthetic fuels, a technological know-how and leadership driven by our industry. 

In order to enable us contributing to meeting the EU’s objectives, we call for urgently designing a comprehensive EU Strategy for the Transition of Liquid Fuels and Products, as part of the regulatory blueprint of the upcoming EU Institutional Cycle. We are here to cooperate with the EU and all stakeholders to implement and deliver, ensuring a sustainable future for Europe and its citizens.