Air Quality

The EU Refining Industry supports the principle of seeking cost-effective solutions to improve air quality.


European legislation on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (Directive 2008/50/EC) sets air quality limit values that cannot be exceeded anywhere in the EU and oblige Member States to limit the exposure of citizens to air pollutants. In many Member States, these air quality standards are being exceeded in urban areas. Many cities now face legal and political pressure to reduce ambient air concentrations in the short term. As a response, low emission zones restricting access to the oldest diesel and gasoline vehicles are being included in city air quality management plans.

In September 2021, the European Commission launched the consultation process on the revision of the EU rules on ambient air quality (AAQD) as a part of the European Green Deal deliverables. The revision is aimed to align EU air quality standards with the new recommendations from the World Health Organisation and to strengthen the provisions on air quality monitoring, modelling and the plans which help local authorities achieve clean air.

FuelsEurope has participated in the consultation process, with technical inputs provided by Concawe where relevant, maintaining our previous position in support of cost-effective solutions and a risk-management approach for setting any new targets.

The European Commission is expected to publish its proposal for the revised AAQD in Autumn 2022.


FuelsEurope supports the principle of seeking cost-effective solutions to improve air quality in the EU. In order for domestic industry to be able to grow competitively, we believe that goals for environmental performance should take into account how far Member States can achieve them cost-effectively. At the municipal level FuelsEurope also supports the flexibility that cities have in implementing well-targeted and cost-effective measures.

However, we strongly believe that legislation must be designed on the basis of a comprehensive risk management approach, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, through focusing on sound science, including cost-benefit and sensitivity analysis and a fair burden sharing between all sectors. Environmental performance goals should be drawn up in such a way that they will allow Member States’ domestic industries to compete effectively and continue their contributions to the recent great improvements in European air quality.