The European Commission has proposed new standards for transport fuels as part of its policy to combat climate change and reduce air pollution. The new standards will be achieved by amending the 1998 Fuel Quality Directive, which sets out common EU specifications for petrol, diesel and gas oil for road and inland waterway transport. The revised Directive will introduce an obligation for fuel suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuel by one per cent per unit of energy per year starting in 2010. A separate petrol blend will be developed with a higher permitted content of oxygen-containing additives, which will enable the use of more biofuels in petrol. From 1 January 2009 all diesel fuel marketed will have to have an ultra-low sulphur content (no more than ten parts per million). Compliance with these and other new requirements will oblige industry to make significant investments in their products.
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