Parliament confirms anti-sulphur stance

MEPs challenge governments over sulphur-free fuels, back down on chloroparaffins

The European parliament today backed demands by fuel quality rapporteur MEP Heidi Hautala for sulphur-free petrol and diesel to become mandatory throughout the EU three years earlier than recommended by the European Commission. The proposals could now be voted on by ministers at next month's environment council.

MEPs said a switch to zero-sulphur fuels should be completed by 2008 rather than 2011. The Commission argues that its position optimises the trade-off between lower vehicle pollution levels enabled by the cleaner fuel and the increase in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the extra energy consumption needed to refine it (EED 11/05/01).

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