Climate & Energy




"FuelsEurope recognises that climate change is a global challenge, requiring global actions"

Answering the growing global demand for energy[1] while at the same time limiting the emission of greenhouse gases is one of the most critical challenges of our time. The EU refining industry can contribute to effectively address this dilemma.

FuelsEurope recognises that climate change is real and warrants action.

FuelsEurope supports the efforts of the international community to address the risks of climate change and believes that effective measures must be undertaken by all significant world economies under an effective and clear international agreement.

At the same time, the growing global demand of secure, reliable and affordable energy must be addressed in order to fight poverty[2] in several regions of the world and to allow access to higher living standards to a rising middle class in many developing countries.

The role the EU refining industry can play

The EU refining industry plays an important role as a secure, reliable and resilient provider of energy, in the form of petroleum products, to the EU economy.

Mobility is a key contributor to the living standards and is intrinsically linked to economic growth. Today, while alternative technologies are increasingly used in transport, refined petroleum products are - and will remain for many years[3] - the prominent energy source. This is due to a unique and tremendously successful combination of continuous technology advancements in the internal combustion engine and of affordable and high quality liquid fuels. The latter, due to their superior energy density with respect to any available alternative[4], provide economic and technological advantages in comparison to competing fuels / energy sources.

Refined products supply 2/3 of the raw material to the EU petrochemical industry and are converted into light-weight plastics, insulation materials and other essential components of the low carbon economy.

Moreover, as 60% of the operating costs of refining is for energy, EU refineries have developed a strong capability to innovate[5], achieving world leadership in terms of efficient use of energy and lower carbon intensity from production activities. The refining industry is continuously seeking to improve its energy efficiency based on the valuable technological know-how accumulated by the sector and, in close cooperation with the automotive, petrochemical and other key industries, contribute to an economically sustainable low carbon economy.

The EU refining industry has also engaged in promoting a more “energy-conscious” behaviour of its customers. A notable example of this is the campaign “Save more than fuel”[6].



[1] 37% increase in 2040 vs. 2012, according to the IEA, WEO 2014, New Policy Scenario

[2] “Without access to modern energy, it is not possible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, […] whether reducing poverty, improving women’s and children’s health, or broadening the reach of education. Energy facilitates social and economic development, offering opportunity for improved lives and economic progress” World Bank, Universal Energy Access,

[3] According to the IEA, WEO 2014, New Policy Scenario, in 2040 petroleum products will supply 85% of energy for global transport.

[4] The energy content of gasoline per unit of volume is more than 50 times higher than for electric batteries. Source: ExxonMobil “Battery Electric Vehicles recharged from the Grid”, January 2015, page 6, quoting “Electric Vehicle Training-IFP, 2013”.

[5] The European Commission’s Competitiveness Report published in 2013 ranked the EU refining industry #1 in process innovation and #4 in product innovation amongst all EU manufacturing industries.

[6] The EU refining industry has engaged in promoting energy-conscious behaviour to its customers, as in the campaign, “Save more than fuel”

Tags: climate change, climate, energy