The European Parliament has formally approved EU agreements on the revised marine fuels directive and the new energy efficiency directive. The final legislative hurdle will be approval by the Council of Ministers in October 2012, which would result in the two pieces of legislation being published in the EU’s Official Journal in November 2012.

Under the revised marine fuels directive, the sulphur content of marine fuels will be cut to 0.5% by 2020 and ships in EU sulphur emissions control areas (SECAs) will also have to comply with the 0.1% sulphur limit by 2015.  

The new energy efficiency directive also includes environmental targets, for example an obligation on energy suppliers to deliver an annual 1.5% energy savings among end-users, and a 3% renovation target for central government offices (applicable first to "total useful floor areas" of more than 500 m² and then to those of more than 250m² from July 2015).

The press releases in relation to the approval of these EU agreements can be accessed via the following links:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120907IPR50818/html/Cleaner-shipping-fuels-to-save-lives

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120907IPR50808/html/Energy-efficiency-billions-to-be-made-in-savings