Extensive selection of methods needed to reduce transport emissions

Press release 30 August 2017

A parliamentary working group on transport set by the Ministry of Transport and Communications released an interim report on its proposals for emission cuts on August 30, 2017. The working group proposes an extensive range of measures for reducing emissions.

-The working group has again noted the fact that a versatile set of tools is needed for the achievement of the challenging emission goal set for transport. An extremely significant role for sustainably produced biofuels is also laudably recognised in the working group's interim report, observes Helena Vänskä, Managing Director of the Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association.

-High-quality and sustainably produced liquid biofuels are already an existing efficient way of cutting emissions. They are very suitable for use in a country like Finland with its long distances and sparse population. Increasing the use of biofuels is, in addition to being energy efficient, the fastest and most cost-effective, and from the citizens' point of view the fairest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, Vänskä observes.

-The advantage of liquid biofuels is that their use does not require major changes or additional investments in existing infrastructure - the cars now in use and the distribution system. On the other hand, electricity and gas, for instance, require a completely new and extensive distribution network and new vehicles, and subsidising their acquisition would not be in line with the principles of equality among the citizenry, especially in the case of more expensive cars, Vänskä notes.

Wider transport tax base needed

-As many proposals and hopes have been put forward on the future of transport and various subsidies, discussion needs to be set in motion on the expansion of the tax base, and the taxation of transport to cover both liquid fuels and other methods of propulsion in transport, Vänskä notes.

At present, sustainably produced liquid biofuels pay the full excise tax according to the transport fuel model. On the other hand, biogas used in transport has been exempted from excise tax, natural gas pays the lower tax used for heating fuel, and electricity pays the significantly lower electricity tax, which means that these forms of transport energy are not taxed according to the transport tax model.

-Technology-neutral transport fuel and power taxation, which is based on the carbon dioxide emissions and energy content of the different alternatives, and which covers all of the alternatives, will be the only sustainable taxation option in the future both from the point of view of the climate, and that of state tax revenue, Vänskä says.

Further information: Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association, Managing Director Helena Vänskä, tel. +358 (0)40 581 6786  

Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association is the collective industry association that represents the interests of its members.  The mission of the Association is to actively promote responsible use of liquid fuels and contribute to a sustainable energy future, while forging a favourable operating environment for it´s members. The Oil Industry Service Centre Ltd, owned by the association, executes the energy efficiency agreement Höylä III and carries out industry-wide environmental and education projects. Website www.oil.fi

Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association | Unioninkatu 22 | 00130 Helsinki  |  Finland  | office@oil.fi