§ Mr. Hill
[holding answer 13 November 2000]Ultra-low sulphur petrol will have a direct benefit in reducing traffic related air pollutants. It will also facilitate the introduction of new fuel-efficient petrol engine technology. This emerging technology holds the promise of significant reductions in CO2 emissions from the vehicle fleet and will help ensure delivery of the voluntary agreements with the car manufacturers to improve new car fuel efficiency by 25 per cent. by 2008.
The reduction of sulphur content of petrol from a maximum of 150 ppm to 50 ppm may result in increased energy consumption in oil refineries and hence CO2 emissions, due to the additional processing required. The extent to which this is the case is dependent on the configuration of each individual refinery, and on other factors such as processing lower sulphur crude. The 659W overall effect is, in the short term, likely to be an increase of less than 2 per cent. in the CO2emissions from refineries.
Ultra-low sulphur petrol will become mandatory throughout the EU from 2005 and the Government's CO2emission projections for 2010 already reflect the impact on refinery emissions of a reduction of sulphur levels in petrol.
As more vehicles are introduced onto the market, fuel efficiency improvement is expected to be larger than increases in refinery CO2emissions.