Doubling the amount of ethanol in the UK’s fuel mix would improve the UK’s air quality and reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions as much as taking 700,000 cars off the road, an inquiry by MPs has concluded.
In its final report, the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for British bioethanol said that switching the UK’s fuel blend from E5 to E10 – which contains 10% ethanol and 90% petrol – would help save the UK’s £1bn bioethanol industry.
The group has again urged the government to introduce E10 by the end of next year, saying that the switch will help immediately lower the UK’s carbon emissions while it continues to decarbonise its economy.
Nic Dakin, the chair of the APPG for British bioethanol, said: ‘At a time when petrol fuel sales volumes are increasing, our inquiry has found that the introduction of E10, that the government can do at any time, can provide carbon emissions savings equivalent to taking 700,000 cars off the road, improving air quality in our inner cities and providing tangible benefits to UK farmers on the long road to electrification and net zero carbon emissions.
‘This must be a top priority for the government and we renew our call for a mandate to introduce E10 by 2020 at the latest.’
E10 is already commonly sold in several other developed countries such as nations across Europe and the US.
In its interim report published earlier this year, the APPG found that unless E10 is introduced by 2020, the UK’s bioethanol industry may suffer a terminal decline, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs.
The loss would also leave the UK struggling to attract further investment and needing to bring in less sustainable biofuels and animal feed from overseas, the group said.
The APPG has urged the government to publish the results of its consultation last year on introducing E10, blaming Brexit for causing distraction.
Dakin added: ‘The British bioethanol industry is in a state of collapse, and ministers can not allow the fog of Brexit to distract them any longer from saving a £1 billion industry that will not only make our cars cleaner and greener, but provide thousands of green jobs in the North and prove that the government is serious about championing the green economy.’
The APPG has also called for the Department for Transport (DfT) to host an emergency summit this summer to discuss how best to introduce E10.
A DfT spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to supporting cleaner and greener fuels, and we recognise the important role they have to play in decarbonising transport.
‘Following our call for evidence on E10, we intend to publish our next steps in due course.’
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